The Past is Past…

I’ve just completed a week’s sales calls in Los Angeles. It’s always a pleasure to get a West Coast perspective on things.

One of our most casual meetings was with our dear friend Linda Garrido at MK Diamonds. Although we didn’t have an appointment, she took a moment to greet us in the lobby and say hello.

Linda has always struck me as a grounded person with a great perspective. Her take on the economic mess and its effect on the jewelry industry is simple but profound: The past is past, it may never come back again, and our only option now is to figure out how to do business in the new reality.

After our meeting, I must admit I found myself reluctant to accept that the days of super-fat, ad-packed JCK issues have indeed passed, and that we’ll have to discover how to do profitable business under the new paradigm. I guess any thought process that demands you look reality in the face and accept it can be challenging.

For retailers, the questions to ask are: What sells now? To whom? At what price point? Sitting in your store and wishing your old customers would come back and buy your old mix of product is foolish. Instead, think constructively and proactively about what changes need to be made.

Happily, there’s a lot on the horizon to help you. First, there’s the April issue of JCK you hold in your hands, which focuses on successful retailers and packs a host of stories to inspire and guide you. The jewelers we profile in our cover story are the 10 who received the most nominations in our first-ever Suppliers’ Choice vote. We asked suppliers to tell us which stores they felt were the most innovative, creative, and rewarding to do business with, and they responded with more than 250 suggestions. This month suppliers return to vote among these 10 finalists and choose their favorite retailer. The winner will be announced at The JCK Show ~ Las Vegas.

Next, there’s the JCK Las Vegas Look Book that comes with this issue. The Look Book is chock-full of original, interesting product at all price points. You’ll see the freshest designs available now to bring life to your showcases.

Finally, The JCK Show ~ Las Vegas is just around the corner. In the months ahead, you’ll receive the JCK Show Guide and Pocket Planner, as well as our spectacular May and June JCK issues. All will help you be informed and ready to tackle the show. As I’ve traveled across the country in the start of this year, more and more retailers tell me they are holding their open to buy for The JCK Show. As I write this letter, there have been a few days of positive news from the markets, so who knows? Maybe all these factors will converge on Vegas for a much better show than expected. I certainly hope so.

I look forward to seeing everyone at the American Gem Society Conclave in Chicago this month. And in Basel the week before.