Kimberley Chaos

I attended the Jewelers of America Show in New York, as I have for decades. The show bore all the scars of the industry's fight to survive and rebuild in today's transformed economy. My conversations with retailers and suppliers sounded like those in previous recessions, only worse. Suppliers spoke of low levels of business, cutbacks in overhead and personnel, inventory reduction, and careful monitoring of collections. Retailers spoke of rebuilding cash, exploring new types of lower-price merchandise, limited buying, and concern that Christmas might not show up. As if that isn't enough, the "green" wave presents new challenges. The public has responded to the long overdue drive to confront huge environmental and social problems. Even politicians finally are responding. However long it may take, and it won't be that long, economic exploitation

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