Bryant & Co. Jewelers, located in Claremont, Calif., and founded in 1939 will close its doors in February.
“I’ve been a jeweler since I was a teenager,” says Alan Thompson, the store’s current owner. “It’s hard to believe it’s ending,”
Al Bryant originally opened the high-end jewelry store in Pomona, Calif. Thompson’s father, Martin, former president of the California Jewelers Association, relocated the shop to Claremont two decades after purchasing the business in 1955.
Thompson, also a past president of the CJA, believes the closure has come at the right time, despite past hopes that his own son would take over the family business. “We’ve had a long run, but I’m looking forward to the time off,” he says. “We’re ready for retirement.”
Although Thompson is excited to travel with his wife upon his retirement, his main order of business is the store’s current liquidation sale. For the next two or three weeks, he is offering markdowns on the store’s entire inventory.
The going-out-of-business sale has attracted a lot of familiar faces to the store, according to Thompson. “The response from the community has been phenomenal. I have had many long-time customers come in to say they’re going to miss the store,” he says. “I never expected such a bittersweet reaction.”