What Does JA Stand For?

In Joe Bacher's view, Jewelers of America is turning its back on its roots. "Jewelers of America was started by independent jewelers," says Bacher, vice president of the Illinois Jewelers Association, a JA state affiliate. "We've all worked hard to build this organization." But now he says the organization is in danger of becoming not "an association of retail jewelers but rather one of retailers who also sell jewelry." He's talking about a new bylaw change that opens up JA's membership to merchants that don't do a majority of their business in jewelry but otherwise meet the organization's membership criteria. The switch was aimed at well-regarded high-end retailers like Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue, which already participate in the group as associate members. But it could conceivably open the door to membership for mega-chains like Wal-Mart, Kmart, and J.C. Penney. All of whi
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