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How was business?

I am curious how the holiday went for you all business wise. I have a
nine person shop in Wisconsin. Usually we work a good deal of
overtime the last week and a half before Christmas. This year there
was very little O/T. Really it was very slow from Thanksgiving right
up to just before Christmas. We are OK because we billed about 10%
more in December than last December (due to a price increase). But
volume was definitely down and the bench people count on that
overtime. The other area shops say they were down from last year
also. Our diamond dealers were saying that retailers were down as
much as 50% across the country. Luckily most had a great year up to
the holiday. Anyway, how did it go for you? Mark

dear mark
down 20% for december from 1st to 24th since last year.

Dear Mark,

Your 50% figure is going to be very close to our numbers as to last
year. I had to go back to 1995 or so to find a comparable year. It’s
not a death blow, but certainly a year where the break-even point is
never met.


It was a very busy season for custom work( two person shop here) but
real slow on bigger profit items and was the worst for most of my
suppliers…but we survive and keep enjoying what we do…happy New
Year to All!!

Ron Kreml

Well our year was great (hit a million dollars for the first
time–not bad for 5 people in 500 sq. ft.) but our December was down
about 20%. However in looking back to two years ago, our growth this
December was consistent with where we should have been. I think that
because of the millennium hype our sales were boosted
disproportionately last year in December (we were up about 80% for
December). We also did distinctly feel the effects of the stock
market drop this year. We had very few mid range sales (for us that
is between $1000-5000), about the same number of high end sales, and
more low end sales. Some of our regulars were definitely cutting back
on their spending. On the other hand, many of our regulars spent a
lot more than usual last year, so maybe it was just the millennium
thing, and they just didn’t want to give another major piece of
jewelry so soon. I think business will definitely be harder to come
by this year, so we are preparing to boost our advertising spending
dramatically to make sure we minimize the impact of any economic
slowdown. Daniel R. Spirer, GG Spirer Somes Jewelers 1794 Massachusetts
Ave. Cambridge, MA 02140 @spirersomes

Business was very good in the Berkshires. We were up about 12%.
Conside ring we have been around now for 22 years, thats a nice

I’ve been in the biz since the 70’s and we used to push for Christmas
from Oct on – then it crept up everyfew years until Thanksgiving
till Christmas–my humble theory is that people seem to buy what they
want when they want it these days, an over simplification–but it is
what I perceive to be the trend. I sell to retailers my works, now,
although I used to have my own gallery–(to much buisness,not enough
time for creativity), so I wholesale (not as much money, but more
fun).Hope you all had a great year, not just a great Christmas.
----marty— do retail on the net.

I am a one man show here. My business through the year was comparable
to the prior year but December was down. Now before you jump to any
conclusions, I was sick, (hospitalized for a while) for 3 weeks. The
overall work load would have been equivalent to last year had I done
it. I did defer 30% of the projects into January, (thank goodness for
long term customers). I had to turn away about an equal amount
because it was impossible for me to complete them before Christmas.
So the bottom line for December is my volume is down by 60% and income
down by 75%, 13% of which will be collected in January. The good news
is January will be very busy compared to former years.

Hope everyone else is surviving out there. Norman

This past September we moved to a new location on the Main St. in our
town. It had previously been occupied by jeweler/designer Etienne (he
now does wholesale only on the 2nd floor). Our gross was up 32% for
2000. About 1/2 was, in my judgement, due to the move. The last few
days before Christmas were not the frenzied moments that they had
been in the past. December as a whole was up, but slowed down toward
the end. We have had to hire 4 employees (3 full time and 1 part
time), which has cut into our net, but as we are getting ready to
wholesale our items, I am confident that this direction of cash flow
will change by late spring. I agree with Daniel Spirer that increasing
ad budgets is the way to go.


Russell’s of Camden
20 Main St.
Camden, Maine 04843