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jewelry

National Jeweler 2009

Whiteflash.com Chief Executive Officer Debi Wexler compares browsing for jewelry online to the invention of the airplane. People back in the day of Right Brothers found flying  ridiculous at first. Today  no one thinks twice  about jumping on a plane to travel.

"We're in that mode where people still haven't changed their paradigm to buying an engagement ring online. Slowly, slowly, generation by generation, the mindset is changing," she says.

Though hesitant to fully disclose  sales results for privetly held, Houston based company. Wexler says holiday sales surpassed predicitions by 20 percent, and year-end sales were up by a "resonable amount."

"I was suprised because I thought it (sales) was going to be flat, given the downturn in the economy,' she says. "The economy definitely impacts all businesses, whether it's jewelry or computers."

Click and ponder

Here is a tip for brick-and-mortar seeking to better compete with Internet retailers.

Understand there's still business to be had. Even if a consumer buys a diamond online, thaty dosen't mean you can't provide the mounting, an appraisal and the wedding bands. It's a big big industry out there. There is enough for everyone who believes that the right business model.

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