Bixler’s Jewelers to Close Store in Easton

Bixler’s Jewelers said it will close its store in Easton, Pa., where it has operated for 223 years, the Express-Times newspaper reports.

The store on Easton’s Centre Square will close in early 2009, the newspaper reports. The business, which identifies itself as America’s oldest retail jeweler, will continue operating its store in nearby Whitehall Township and is considering options to open a new store in the area.

Mark Maurer, Bixler’s president and owner, said in a statement to the newspaper, that changes in the luxury jewelry business combined with the current economic downturn has made it “too difficult” to operate the downtown location.

Joyce Mitman Welken, chief executive officer, is the great-great-great granddaughter of Bixler’s founder Christian Bixler III, a Revolutionary War veteran who opened a jewelry store and clock-making shop in 1785.

“We feel like this is the toughest decision the Bixler family has ever had to make in our 223-year history in Easton,” Welken reportedly said in a statement.

Bixler’s will hold an inventory clearance event beginning Nov. 19 before closing in early 2009, the newspaper reports.

Bixler’s merged with Whitehall Township retailer Avalon, Mauer & Bash Co. in November 2006 and closed another location at the Village West Shopping Center in South Whitehall Township that year, the newspaper reports.