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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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Going Out of Business Is an Emotional Journey. Wilkerson Is There to Make It Easier.

Jaki Cowan, the owner of Sollberger’s in Ridgeland, MS, decided the time was right to close up shop. The experience, she says, was like going into the great unknown. There were so many questions about the way to handle the store’s going-out-of-business sale. Luckily for Cowan, Wilkerson made the transition easier and managed everything, from marketing to markdowns.

“They think of everything that you don’t have the time to think of,” she says of the Wilkerson team that was assigned to manage the sale. And it was a total success, with financial goals met by Christmas with another sale month left to go.

Wilkerson even had a plan to manage things while Covid-19 restrictions were still in place. This included limiting the number of shoppers, masking and taking temperatures upon entrance. “We did everything we could to make the staff and public feel as safe as possible.”

Does she recommend Wilkerson to other retailers thinking of retiring, liquidating or selling excess merchandise? Absolutely. “If you are considering going out of business, it’s obviously an emotional journey. But truly rest assured that you’re in good hands with Wilkerson.”

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