Tool Time: Retailers Get High-Tech

From jewelry cleaners to videoconferencing products, these devices are making a difference where it counts: at the sales counter.Dan Dement is known as “Mr. Gadget” among his retail peers. Explaining his insatiable need to stock the latest and greatest gadgets in his store, Stone Oak Jewelers in San Antonio, Texas, he takes the “boys and their toys” defense: “The retailer who dies with the most gadgets wins.” At age 62, Dement has logged more than 40 years in the industry—11 of them as a retailer selling a mix of finished goods and custom-made jewelry. Early on, he learned that adapting to new technologies and keeping current with changes and upgrades helped him keep the “independent” in independent jeweler. Dan Dement To nurture this self-determining spirit, Dement formed an alliance five years ago with a handful of tech-savvy jewelry store owners with the hel

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