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166-Year-Old Jewelry Store Closes Its Doors

The owners are retiring.

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PLACERVILLE, CA – Randolph Jewelers in Placerville, CA, which opened in 1852, is closing its doors.

The business describes itself in a press release as “the oldest continuously run jewelry store in California.”

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Store owner Charles Stephens and his wife, Kathy, who also works at the store, are ready to start a new chapter which includes spending time with family and traveling.

As he looks forward to retirement, Stephens adds, “We are going to miss the customers – helping people acquire some of their most treasured possessions is a wonderful thing to do.”

Store founder F.F. Barss opened the business under a tent on Main Street, and that street has remained its home ever since.

The store originally operated under its founder’s name as FF Barss Jewelers. The Berger family owned the store until 1946 when it was bought by William Randolph and the name changed to Randolph Jewelers.

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Stephens bought the store from Randolph in 1981 and kept the name because of its reputation, according to the release.

After serving the community for 166 years, Randolph Jewelers began hosting a closing sale, open to the public, Nov. 30. The sale will continue until all inventory is sold.

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FedEx Worker Pawned $36,000 of Jewelry Instead of Delivering It, Police Say

He allegedly received $6,000 for the merchandise.

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A Cincinnati man who worked for FedEx is accused of stealing jewelry rather than delivering it.

Terry Hagood was charged with two counts of theft and has pleaded not guilty to both, WKRC-TV reports.

The jewelry in question, worth $36,000 in two shipments, was bound for Quality Gold, police say.

Instead of delivering it, Hagwood allegedly took the jewelry to Queen City Pawn.

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Authorities say he received $6,000 for the merchandise. The crimes are alleged to have taken place in September.

Bond for Hagwood was set at $2,000. He was being held in Hamilton County, OH.

According to WXIX-TV, it was a FedEx corporate security specialist who filed a police report accusing Hagwood of theft.

Read more at the WKRC-TV

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Jeweler Report Grimmer Holiday Mood

Many are lowering their sales expectations, INSTORE found in its second 2018 Holiday Season Mini Survey.

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THE MOOD OF JEWELERS turned decidedly grimmer in the second week of December, with store owners and managers sharply lowering their expectations for the 2018 holiday season. More than one in three, or 34 percent, of respondents to our second holiday mini survey described the season so far as “disappointing” or “dismal,” up from just 20 percent who were that negative in our first survey taken on Dec. 6.

The proportion of jewelers doing “better than expected” or having a “terrific” season also shrank, from 27 percent to 21 percent. The rest said sales had so far been in line with expectations.

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“I think Trump’s tariffs causing the stock market to crash, as well as the threat of recession, is hurting us. Internet sales are also becoming more of a factor,” said Michael Rumanoff of Rumanoff’s Fine Jewelry and Design, Hamden, CT.

Yet, many jewelers remain hopeful for a strong finish to the season, similar to what happened last year, with some noting that their early sales had been dominated by self-purchasers as opposed to bigger-spending gift-buyers.

“I think it’s going to be a late buying year. We’ve had some nice sales but there’s no sense of urgency yet,” said Marc Majors, owner of Sam L. Majors, a fifth-generation jeweler in Midland, TX.

Meanwhile, some jewelers are already plotting adjustments to their strategy in 2019, including changes to their marketing and inventory.

“Already wish I’d done a little different marketing,” said Julee Johnson, owner of Julee’s Jewelry in Mankato, MN. “But I know what to change in the coming year. Facebook can be good, but don’t rely only on it. We use it along with radio and direct mail, but our tracking shows it’s not the only answer.”

Mark Snyder, owner of Snyder Jewelers in Weymouth, MA, said his holiday season had been hectic and he was expecting to top his historical numbers. But he noted his customers’ focus was clearly on custom-designed jewelry. “We will definitely consider carrying less inventory next year. People simply want custom (at least 15-20 days out). It’s not like our inventory mix is wrong. People come through the door with a custom design in mind and their own gemstones. They aren’t looking and NOT seeing what they want, because they aren’t looking at all.”

In addition to the strong custom design trend, which was reported across the country, the other pattern being noted was rising average tickets but falling traffic. Almost half, or 46 percent, of survey respondents reported fewer customers were coming in their doors compared with the 2017 season, while 35 percent said their average ticket was up and a further 46 percent said it had held steady.

Diamond studs, pendants, engagement rings, and other high-end items led the way.

“Diamond anything,” was how Kim Hatchell, manager of Galloway & Moseley in Sumter, SC, described her best sellers.

INSTORE’s 2018 Holiday Season Mini Survey No. 2 was sent to the Brain Squad on Monday and answered by more than 120 jewelers across North America. We will send a third installment after the coming weekend. If you’d like to become a member of the Brain Squad, and get access to all the respondent data, please sign up HERE.

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These Jewelry Brands Have the Best Resale Value, According to The RealReal

Newly release data ‘speaks to the longevity of top designers.’

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The RealReal, an online luxury consignment company, has released a list of designer brands with the best resale value.

In the jewelry category, Van Cleef & Arpels comes out on top.

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“The inimitable Van Cleef, with its iconic Alhambra pieces, is #1 for the second year in a row with a 74% resale value and 5% uptick YoY,” the company states.

Cartier also made a strong showing.

“Cartier’s Juste un Clou bracelet continues to be the embodiment of French elegance, selling for 74 percent of its original price,” according to The RealReal.

Anita Ko was third on the list, with a resale value of 69 percent.

In the watches category, Rolex, Patek Philippe and Panerai were all highly ranked for resale value.

“Our unique data speaks to the longevity of top designers, and is a touchstone for shifts in consumer behavior,” said Rati Levesque, the company’s chief merchant. “Gifting heritage and meticulously crafted luxury goods is what extending the life cycle of luxury is all about and ultimately lets everyone participate in the circular economy.”

Check out The RealReal’s Holiday Resale Report here.

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