Surging Gold Sparks U.S. Retail Chain Promoted by Robin Leach

Scott Garber, GoldMax owner

Scott Garber, owner of GoldMax. Photographer: Chris Rank/Bloomberg

Scott Garber and his three partners have been opening gold-buying stores at the rate of more than one a week since they started their business three years ago.

Thanks to the rising price of gold and recession-battered Americans eager to trade jewelry for cash, the stores are on a pace to generate a total of $175 million in revenue this year, almost quadruple the $45 million in sales in 2010, Garber said. The price of gold, heading for its 11th straight annual gain, has jumped 20 percent this year, outperforming global equity markets, industrial commodities and Treasuries. Gold futures for December delivery reached a four-week high yesterday before closing at $1,700.40 an ounce, up 2.9 percent for the day.

"The higher gold goes and the more publicity you get, the more it drives business into the store," Garber, a 30-year-old University of Chicago Booth School of Business dropout, said in a telephone interview.

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