Remembering all the stores that closed over the last year
We often reprint the Jewelers Board of Trade data on the state of the industry. For the last few years, it has shown dramatic industry consolidation, particulary at the retail level.
As I’ve argued, part of the reason we are seeing so many jewelers closing is there are more independent jewelers than other type of independent retailer. Still, when looked at in isolation, the figures are dramatic. In the third quarter, 200 jewelers closed—that’s two a day. Simply based on my Google News alerts, I believe we will see even more dramatic consolidation this quarter.
Most of these closings do seem to be retirements. Yet many had trouble passing the business on or couldn’t sell their business when the time came. And, of course, some complained that business just isn’t what it used to be, with many never recovering from the 2008 crash. Some explicitly blamed shopping online. Others blamed big chains. Two had recently been victims of robberies.
But not all were having issues: At least one said that he is coming off his best year ever.
These closings present opportunities for the retailers that remain: This holiday one jeweler told us he’s predicting big sales next year after two competitors closed in his area.
Still, it’s good to remember some of the jewelers who are no longer with us, as we did last year. Here is our version of the Oscars’ In Memoriam reel. The following jewelers closed over the last year:
Forney’s Jewelers, Dover, Del.; McArthur Jewelers, St. George, Utah; Budd Jaffee Jewelers, Lambertville, Mich.; DeLuca Jewelers, Palm Desert, Calif.; Don’s Artistry in Gold, Yakima, Wash.; Fadely’s the Jeweler, Anderson, Ind.; J.B. Lacher, Greenville, S.C.; Swalstead Jewelers, Orlando, Fla., McCullochs’ Jewelers, Lexington, N.C.; Crown Jewelry, Columbus, Neb.; Chavez Fine Jewelers, Santa Fe, N.M.; de Luna Jewelers, Davis, Calif.; Jewels by Satnick, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Towne Jewelers, Winston-Salem, N.C.; W.R. Adams and Son, Sparks, Nev.; McHenry Jewelers, Canisteo, N.Y.; Kay Wiggins Jewelry & Gifts, Wichita, Kan.; Harding Bullock Jewelers, Pueblo, Colo.; Nabers Fine Jewelers, Zephyrhills, Fla.; Golden Pleasures, Bordentown, N.J.; David’s Jewelers, St. Helena, Calif.; C.L. Davis Jewelers, Akron, Ohio; Giovar Jewels, Chicago; Freilich Jewelers, Bronx, N.Y.; Ben Rossi Jewelers, DuBois, Pa.; Bove Jewelers, Kennett Square, Pa.; Landis Jewelry Store, Frederick, Md.; Michael Kohn Jewelers, Westfield, N.J.; Miksa Jewelers, State College, Pa.; Lazor Jewelers, Milwaukee; Hart’s Jewelers, Thousand Oaks, Calif.; H.L. Lang and Co., Staunton, Va.; Jerry Lee’s Jewelry and Youngstown Jewelry Repair, Youngstown, Ohio; Murray-McKenzie Jewelry Co., Paris, Tenn.; Carl’s Jewelers, San Diego; Davis Jewelers, Grayling, Mich.; Robuck Jewelers, Topeka, Kan.; Wright Jewelry, West Chester, Pa.; M. Beem Jewelers, Reston, Va.; Farr’s Jewelry, Idaho Falls, Idaho; Richard’s Jewelry, Stephenville, Texas; Southwest Jewels, Mission, Kan.; Sheldon Jewelry, El Paso, Texas; Goldmine Jewelers, St. Charles, Ill.; Amadom Jewelers, Scottsdale, Ariz.; Eckstein’s Jewelry, Boone, Iowa; W.M. Rife Co., Oakwood, Ohio; John Dagle Jewelers, Sunbury, Pa.; G. Thrapp Jewelers, Indianapolis (pictured above); Samuel Gordon Jewelers, Oklahoma City,
In most of these cases, the closings were met with sorrow and teeth gnashing among locals, a testament to the strong role these stores played in their local communities.
Pennsylvania jeweler Stephen Miksa had the most poignant reflection on his closing:
“People have been saying they took off work to make sure they came in, and it just isn’t fathomable. I couldn’t believe how many people have wanted to say thank you to me and everyone that has worked with us. I still love this, you know. I still love this.”