Retailing in Tough Times: Saving Money and Cutting Costs

Jewelers spend 20% to 25% more than necessary in their operations, say business experts. That's foolish in good times, but in tough economic times, it could make things even tougher. Here are practical tips from jewelers and business and retail experts on how to tighten the business belt without choking the business. Identifying costs. Before cutting costs, know what they are. "Make a list of typical expenditures," suggests jewelry retail management expert Kate Petersen of Performance Concepts Inc. "Determine if each is a cost or an investment. Does it provide a return—an investment—or is it a straight cost? "For investments, look at what you spend on something vs. its returns, both tangible and non-tangible," she says. For example, customer courtesies—such as fine candy given as gifts or in bowls on the sales counters—can cost a jeweler hundreds, even thousands of dollars a

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