So, as time marches on, we see our collective folly in it's full
splendor. En-masse, we have supported and made powerful the giants
of retail, to the point at which they gulp away at our own
livelihood. Case in point:
I received an invitation, as did all Costco members in my market
area, to attend a "loose diamond road show" at one of the locations
in Edmonton. They promise to display and sell goods described as
fully-cut VS2 or better, from .49ct. to 1.25ct., and no lower than I
in colour. A "certified gemologist" will be there to facilitate
assurances of quality.
The fact that Costco has sold finished goods for some time never
really bothered me, personally...as my custom work stands up for
itself. My competitors may have been annoyed by it, but we don't
really care that much about each other. And there, my friends, is
part of the problem.
I will now depend on my brethren in the industry to join me in a
boycott of Costco, on the grounds that they are now infringing on my
territory. I must assume that they are test-marketing loose diamonds
in my region to see what happens, and that they will judge the merit
of a larger move into the loose diamond market, depending on the
results of this experiment.
The fact that they, and Wal-Mart, and some of the lesser chains of
discounters and "wholesale" operations have been clobbering other
retail and service businesses for years never really makes an impact
until it directly affects me, or you, or someone close.
We demonstrate all of the theories of modern economics when we vote
for certain types of industries or services or retailers with our
dollars. We give them the weapons that they use to beat us to death.
When we stop supporting and feeding them, they wither and die.
I contacted Costco, and have yet to receive any sort of reply, but
the trade press is very interested in hearing more. The event is
scheduled to take place during the weekend of Feb. 7th and 8th.
What infuriates some of my associates here is that a major diamond
wholesaler is consigning goods for the sale. If Costco only collects
a "short spread" on the stones, they can still rake in a huge amount
of money, and undercut the local jewellers signific antly.
So, should we look at this as a problem? After all, isn't that the
true nature of competition?
In this case, it is a serious problem.
The people who buy loose diamonds from Costco will then have to go
to a jeweller/goldsmith to have their prized purchase set into a
mounting, and Costco views this as a means by which to share their
Imagine the client's dismay when we have to tell them that we cannot
accept any liability, should the diamond not survive the perils of
the jewellery manufacturing process.
We establish ourselves as the bearers of bad news, the as$oles, the
greedy, uncooperative elitists who plague retail, the brick-and
-mortar morons who charge and arm and leg and deliver disappointment
with a massive markup.
To those who have had their pants kicked by Wal-Mart and Costco, I
am so sorry that you have been affected. They will never get another
one of my dollars. I have never spent a nickel at Wal-Mart, but
Costco? Everyone shops at Costco.
To those yet to be affected, wake up. It's coming, and there will
never again be an opportunity like today to do something about it.
Let them know what you think.... or better yet, leave them wondering
where they went wrong.