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Las Vegas lowdown: Cautious buying and high hopes for a turnaround

An industry standard itself, JCK Las Vegas welcomed jewellery retailers, manufacturers, and suppliers to renovated ballrooms and a new buyer-friendly floor plan that grouped product categories together in designated neighbourhoods. The start of the show capped off ‘Jewelry Week,’ which also saw Luxury, Couture, and JCK Events’ newest offering, the cash-and-carry JIS Exchange, welcome the industry to what is considered North America’s main jewellery-buying event.

While final numbers were not available at press time, attendance appeared to be down, judging from less-than-packed aisles and the ease of getting a table at peak hours at any number of nearby restaurants; for the most part, however, exhibitors said they were doing good business, explaining fewer buyers had attended the show this year to keep expenses down.

Mary Milan, senior vice-president of PAJ Canada, said she noticed buyers were taking a different approach from previous years. A tough economy, particularly north of the border, has retailers managing their inventory more carefully.

“People are being selective about what they’re buying,” she explained. “The buying pattern has changed. Retailers are very aware of their budget. In the past, they would say they wanted to order our top sellers, but now they are hand-picking their items. They want to take an assortment of colours to show their customers and then do special orders for what they don’t have in the case.”

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