Stores

SOUTH

Luxury jeweler Van Cleef & Arpels will open a store at The Streets of Buckhead, a new luxury mixed-use development in Atlanta’s Buckhead district that is slated to open in spring 2010.

A new Pandora store opened in the Mercato shopping center in Naples, Fla., according to a news report.

WEST

The El Paso, Texas, district of the Small Business Administration recently selected Susan Eisen of Susan Eisen Fine Jewelry and Watches as its 2009 Small Businessperson of the Year.

Tiffany & Co. will open one of its smaller format Tiffany Collections stores in Seattle’s University Village in September, reports say. Tiffany opened its first mini-store last October in Glendale, Calif. This will be the company’s third store in the Seattle area.

Readers Fine Jewelers of Santa Monica, Calif., tripled its square footage from 800 to 2,400 square feet in a recent expansion. The 70-year-old store is now the largest family-owned independent jewelry store in Santa Monica.

NORTHEAST

Sushil Bhalla, 46, owner of Aabhushan Family Jewelers, in Edison, N.J., was found dead in what press accounts called a possible cyanide-related death. After receiving reports of a possible chemical release, police found a container with 4 to 5 ounces of cyanide in a back room of the store.

Three Brooklyn jewelry stores and their presidents were indicted recently for sales tax violations, and three other stores pled guilty to sales-tax-related charges, Brooklyn’s DA said in a statement. According to the statement, investigators visited 27 jewelry stores, and at 17 of them they were told the stores would not charge them sales tax if they paid with cash.

MIDWEST

Ultra Diamonds in July reopened its store in the historic Chicago building at Street and Monroe. The reopening ceremony included live peacocks and a pearl necklace giveaway. A portion of the weekend’s sales were donated to Starlight Children’s Foundation Midwest.

Godfrey Jewelers, a 98-year-old store in Battle Creek, Mich., is closing shop. Owner John Godfrey told JCK he’s retiring because “I’m at the right age in the wrong economy” and none of the next generation wanted to take over the business.

Borsheims, the famed luxury retailer owned by Warren Buffett and based in Omaha, Neb., recently laid off 13 workers, reports said. These are the first layoffs in the company’s 139-year history.