King’s Jewelry: The Rewards of Small-Town Retailing

Family values and hometown virtues. Suddenly, they're in the spotlight as politicians and social critics rediscover and reaffirm them. But for King's Jewelry of New Castle, Pa., they aren't new or trendy. This unabashedly small-town regional chain of 31 stores in northwest Ohio, western Pennsylvania and West Virginia has thrived on family values and hometown virtues for eight decades. New Castle, a city of 28,000 people in the western Pennsylvania hills between Pittsburgh and Youngstown, Ohio, is the quintessential all-American town. Church chimes play at noon. A Civil War monument graces the town center. Neighbors stop each other on the street to chat. (New Castle does have some problems, of course, including a changing economy and empty storefronts downtown.) All of this makes New Castle an apt location for the headquarters of King's Jewelry, which has long catered to the needs o

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