Viva la Vendor Viva la Vendor Undeniably, satisfied customers are vital to any store—a message you’ll hear at nearly every trade show seminar you attend. So jewelers at the recent American Gem Society Conclave may have been surprised when a speaker, Minnesota jeweler Mark Moeller, forcefully asserted that there’s someone else just as important as that proverbial happy customer—someone who can also make or break your business. That someone is the vendor. Moeller runs two impressive stores that ring up $6.4 million in annual sales (on an inventory of a mere $1.7 million!), and he attributes a large part of that enviable performance to good vendor relationships. Sure, the primary role of all your vendors is to supply you with goods that sell. But they can help you in so many other ways that it’s almost a retailing sin not to cultivate them. Consider:

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