Final Sale: How to Close Your Store the Right Way

Closing your business requires months of careful planning. Follow the steps outlined here to ensure a smooth shutdown. Jim Jessop has been selling fine jewelry for 45 years, but in the not-too-distant future, he plans to spend time on his boat, buy a home in the mountains, and enjoy a monthlong vacation in France. Jessop is retiring at age 65, but his three sons aren’t interested in taking over his 126-year-old business, Jessop’s, in San Diego. So he’s closing it for good. Like starting a business, ­closing one—particularly one as old as Jessop’s—takes a lot of work and careful planning. “Ideally, you have a wind-down plan,” says Michael Levin, associate professor of marketing and chair at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio. “Anticipating closing your store three to four years out is the best idea, so you can prepare. It’s not something you should do two m

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