Nancy B Targets the Independent

It set out to meet these criteria Executives at Nancy B & Company wanted to see just where their firm fit in the jewelry industry and where they could expand. A review in 1993 led them to divide the industry into three distinct segments: independent jewelers; chain stores and mass retailers of better-quality merchandise; and other mass retailers, including discount stores. “We didn’t fly at all in the discount world,” says Pat Patten, who joined the Culver City, Calif., company that year as chief operating officer after 15 years on the retail side with Finlay Fine Jewelry Corp. “We did a nice business in the other two segments, but we asked ourselves, 'What is best for long-term survival strategy?’” U.S. Commerce Department figures showed there were about 28,000 operating retail jewelry stores in the United States in 1992; nearly 19,500 were one- or two-store busine

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