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Know It All: June 2015

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Pandora Launches Online Retail Site in U.S.

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Pandora has rolled out a direct-to-consumer e-commerce site that will sell its full portfolio of products. The company said its experience with such online channels in other countries is that they do not hurt physical sales of the product.
— Baltimore Sun, 4/20/15


Ruby Prices to “Double”

2 Having helped boost emerald prices by 1,000 percent over the last five years, mining company Gemfields is turning its attention to rubies, which it believes are ripe for a concentrated marketing push. “Over the next couple of years we should be able to double” ruby prices, CEO Ian Harebottle said, citing strong demand in China. — Bloomberg, 4/17/15

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Apple Store Staff Told to Shunt Orders to Web

3 After months of media hoohah about Apple reinventing retail to push its smartwatch, it turns out that the brand will be telling customers the best way to get their hands on an Apple Watch is to order it online, according to an internal memo. — TechCrunch, 4/10/15


“Perfect” Diamond Goes for $22 Million

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4 It took just three minutes for an anonymous telephone bidder to snatch up a “perfect” 100-carat diamond at Sotheby’s for $22.1 million. The gemstone was the largest emerald-cut diamond ever sold at auction and is one of only six diamonds over 100 carats to sell at auction in the past 25 years. — Rapaport TradeWire, 4/22/15


Amazon Files Suit over Fake Product Reviews

5 Amazon has filed suit against the alleged operators of sites that offer Amazon sellers the ability to purchase fake 4- and 5-star customer reviews of their products. The suit targets several “John Does” who operate sites with names such as buyamazonreviews.com. — GeekWire, 4/17/15


Survey: Firms Dodging Conflict Minerals Law

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6 Nearly 80 percent of American companies have failed to meet a U.S. rule requiring they monitor whether their products contain minerals from war-torn parts of Africa, according to a survey by Amnesty International and Global Witness. — Reuters, 4/22/15


Uber Testing Merchant Delivery Program

7 Uber is quietly testing a massive merchant delivery program that would allow online shoppers to get same-day delivery of goods through both UberRush couriers and Uber drivers. Sources say that Neiman Marcus, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany’s are among the retailers in talks with Uber on the program. — TechCrunch, 4/22/15


Borsheims Shutters Its Outlet Store

8Borsheims has closed the outlet it opened with great fanfare in 2013, due to what it calls “disappointing” sales. — Omaha World-Herald, 4/17/15


Cruise Line May Have to Honor 20-ct Error

9 A Florida appeals court ruled that a cruise line that mistakenly sold a $4.9 million 20-carat diamond for a fraction of its cost may have to honor the deal, because the passenger did not seem to have “induced” Starboard into making the mistake. — Miami Herald, 4/8/15


A Plant May Signpost the Way to Diamonds

10 U.S. geologists have discovered a thorny, palm-like plant in Liberia that seems to indicate the presence underground of diamond-rich kimberlite. If their findings hold up, says a geologist at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, DC, “Prospectors are going to jump on it like crazy.” — PBS.org 5/05/15

This article originally appeared in the June 2015 edition of INSTORE.

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