Minster’s Jewelers, a family-owned jewelry store based in Newark, Del., that celebrated its 123rd anniversary this year, has closed its doors.
The retailer announced earlier this month on Facebook that its final business day would be July 14.
Current store owner Will Minster was unreachable by phone (the store’s phone line has been disconnected), but he told local news outlet WDEL that increased competition from e-commerce was a major factor in his decision to shutter the shop.
Compounding this was the fact that his mother, Marilyn Minster, who passed away late last year, was the driving force behind the business for decades.
“You have to let go of things,” he told the outlet. “There has to be closure on things, and [this] store was my mom’s store by far, and she was going to be in charge of [it] until the day she died, and she was. So her legacy is fulfilled.”
Will has two sisters, but says “neither one is interested in being in business, and don’t have children.” WDEL reports that the store had three dedicated employees aside from the owner.
The store is the fourth and final Minster’s Jewelers location to close in under a decade. In more flush times, the company operated boutiques in Delaware cities Dover, Wilmington, and Elkton.
The retailer noted that if he had to do it all again, he’d strive to buy the buildings he set up shop in, saying, “Had I had my idea, you wouldn’t have rented something for 65 years. We paid for [Newark Shopping Center, where the store was located] probably totally by the rent we paid—because we were the first in there and we were the last in there.”
Before resigning himself to shuttering the shop, Will told the outlet that he’d considered staying in business as a strictly repairs outpost, but that his heart wasn’t in it. The retailer, who once lived above a Minster’s Jewelers store, currently works as a realtor and said he “loves the freedom from the nine-to-five grind.”
RIP, Minster’s Jewelers.
Photo: Minster’s Jewelers (courtesy of Minster’s Jewelers)