The grand facade of Seyfried Jewelers—an expanse of glossy dark stone featuring the Seyfried name in retro lettering—will soon be dismantled. The fine jewelry store and stalwart of the bustling Ann Arbor, Mich., retail scene is closing its doors after 102 years in business.
Owners and brothers Jim and Bill Hart did not respond to requests for comment, but according to regional website MLife.com, they decided to shutter the shop after receiving the news that the building’s new landlord would be increasing the rent on the space by 60 percent.
Ann Arbor’s Seyfried Jewelers (photo courtesy of Ross Orr)
“So that was it,” Jim told MLife. “You don’t always get to choose when you do things. I probably would have stayed two or three more years, but it’s not going to be…a hardship or anything.” The owners are both in their 60s, and said they are looking forward to retiring, though they will miss the camaraderie of their customers and fellow retailers on South Main Street.
The Harts purchased the store from Ralph Seyfried—who opened the original Seyfried’s on East Liberty Street in 1911—in 1978. Seyfried moved the store to South Main Street in the 1930s.
The store’s bread-and-butter in recent years has been bridal and jewelry repairs, and its stellar customer service is on record all over the Internet. “I came here recently for a watch band replacement,” wrote a first-time Seyfried’s customer on Yelp.com. “The guys in there are cool. They did a quality repair on the spot for a reasonable price. They even gave me a free case for the watch—nice.”
Another client reported that Seyfried’s owners “were quick and attentive. I asked for help making a custom set of earrings for a friend, and they had the order ready to go in a week. The price was very fair…I was a little shy asking that we have a piece of the order altered after having second thoughts on the design, and at no charge, they obliged with no questions at all.”
The shop kicked off a storewide sale of existing merchandise today, discounting pieces from 30 percent to 70 percent off.