Sacramento's upscale jeweler is set for lackluster season

Sacramento BeeNovember 20, 2008 

Bo Grebitus is an optimist, which is difficult these days.

"I see the glass as half-full, but I'm realistic. I know what I have to do and I've made the adjustments," said Grebitus, longtime owner of Grebitus and Sons jewelry stores."Now it's time to watch. It's history. It's a great thing to go through. You appreciate this business cycle."

With the Dow below 8,000 and retail sales numbers at their lowest in decades, Grebitus may be the only one who feels appreciative. But hand-wringing isn't his style. Experience - the business has been in the family more than 80 years - has taught him that.

Grebitus is one of many retailers in the Sacramento area anticipating a glum holiday shopping season. The luxury goods sector has been among the hardest hit in retail.

"People are very uncertain," he said. "People are going to have their Christmas, but a smaller one."

Grebitus, who has two Sacramento stores, said he and others in his industry anticipated the country's economic woes several years ago and he's adjusted accordingly.

By modernizing credit and other business functions, he has reduced his staff to 26 employees from 60.

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