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Survival Advice from the Experts
We asked leading diamond experts to walk a mile in your shoes. Hereís their advice on how retailers can survive and thrive in this challenging economic climate.


KAUSHIK MEHTA
EUROSTAR

"Never allow fear to cloud your perspective. Cut costs. Fine-tune your buying. Retain a dialogue with your best customers and build on those relationships. Market the long term emotional value of diamonds."


JEFF FISCHER
FISCHER DIAMONDS

"Watch your cash flow and preserve cash flow above all else, trim costs, increase your efficiency, and bring down debt. Donít just wait for the turnaround, be proactive. If youíre having trouble paying your bills, pick up the phone and call your suppliers. Weíre all in this together. Most suppliers, if they are able, will try to work with you. For sales associates, itís extremely important to present a positive attitude. Donít be purveyors of doom."


MOSHE KLEIN
JULIUS KLEIN

"Keep up your relationships with both customers and suppliers. Take the opportunity to invest in training your salespeople, negotiate better pricing for items you might not have thought about in the past, review the layout of your store and make some inexpensive yet important aesthetic changes, look at what you might do to surpass the competition. Take a long-term view. Donít cut off relationships with your suppliers because you canít afford to buy at the moment. And donít put the whole store on sale because youíre not selling as much as you did last year. The time will come when youíre going to want to stock those shelves again and youíll have customers coming in, so make sure to be in touch. Weíre all in this together. Letís not forget about the importance of remaining loyal and patient with one another."


ANIL D. SHAH
VENUS JEWEL

"We are all sailing in the same boat. But as long as insolvency is not officially declared, there is always a window of opportunity. This change must start with purchasing diamonds with the right grading and pricing and maximum luster and fire. Maintain utmost transparency and disclosure, maintain less inventory, and work with trusted ethical suppliers. Invest when others canít for long-term growth. A new integrated marketing approach led and financed by retailers, if done effectively, will prove far cheaper than the amount of money currently being thrown away on empty trade branding and commoditization of diamonds."

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Fancy yellow cushion cut diamond earrings
Fancy yellow cushion cut diamond earrings, 2.66 carats total weight, from Abe Mor Diamond Cutters, suggested retail $24,200, (800) 999-7835, www.abemor.com.
Diamond ring
Diamond ring from the ďPurple DreamsĒ collection by Moti Ganz, (212) 302-0040, www.motiganz.com.