On the Road Again

During the course of the past few months I've been on the road traveling to different parts of the country where I have interviewed retail jewelers for a consulting assignment. It has been an interesting experience because, frankly, it's been a long time since I've actually called on retailers in their stores or their headquarters. The truth is that while there has been lots of contact with retailers during the past few years, the point of contact has been at trade shows, at other industry functions, by telephone, or by e-mail. While each of these communications opportunities has its place and has value, especially in our time-crunched business lives, the fact remains that you cannot appreciate the challenges a particular retailer faces until you see the operation in person. Nor do you get the opportunity to talk about that retailer's business in such a focused manner. The situation

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