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Maryland Jeweler Saw the ‘Writing on the Wall’ … and More Jewelers Who Closed in June

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SAM FRIBUSH of Berman’s Jewelers in Ellicott, MD, had worked in the business for 54 years and never thought of it as a job — until recently.

“I was taking the long way to work, driving slow, and when I start doing that, the writing’s on the wall,” he told the Baltimore Sun.

He knew it was time to retire.

Berman’s was one of 58 jewelry businesses that the Jewelers Board of Trade listed among industry discontinuances and consolidations for June. INSTORE has partnered with JBT to provide a closer look at closings in the jewelry industry via monthly reports that lists closed stores by name. (Note: JBT explains that “consolidation,” as used below, can mean a merger between two affiliate [same owners] companies that had separate corporate charters or the sale of a company to a new owner.)

Evolving consumer habits, the rising popularity of e-commerce and other trends have contributed to jewelry-store closings in recent years. JBT reported earlier this month that 195 U.S. jewelry retailers closed their doors in the second quarter of 2018. That number represented no change from the number of closings in the second quarter of 2017.

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In sunnier news, JBT reported that 63 new retailers opened their doors in the U.S. in the second quarter of 2018, up from 22 in the same quarter a year prior.

Fribush, for one, said his customer base had decreased over the past decade, with younger customers increasingly purchasing online — or not at all.

In the case of another store owner on the list, however, the decision to shut down was less about consumer trends and more about a specific calamity. The owner, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said a bookkeeper defrauded the business of between $100,000 and $400,000.

He couldn’t sustain the loss, so he closed the store. He’s awaiting — or at least hoping for — an indictment of the former employee.

He’s now starting a smaller, appointment-only jewelry business.

“It’s a real challenge to start over after all these years,” he said.

(Editor’s comment: This monthly department is designed to share the many lessons — and many motivations — of jewelers who have decided not to continue with their retail business. The goal is not to inspire fear, but rather to inspire action for jewelers who are looking for ways to thrive in what can be a challenging retail environment.)

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V V S D Jewelers, Inc., d/b/a Fast Fix Jewelry & Watch Repairs, Palmdale, CA, consolidation

Phillips Jewelry, Mapleton, IA, discontinuance

Jewelers Workbench And Watch Repair, North Attleboro, MA, consolidation

Anderson, James L. Jeweler, Inc., d/b/a Morgan’s Jewelers, Winona, MN consolidation

Imam Management Inc., d/b/a Carolina Jewelers, Pineville, NC, consolidation

Watertown Gold and Trade LLC, Watertown, WI, consolidation

Chatelaine’s Ltd., Lewes, DE, discontinuance

Gregory James Jewelry, LLC, Palm Beach, FL, discontinuance

Christopher Charles Fine Jewelry Corp., Haddon Township, NJ, discontinuance

Eugene P, Inc., d/b/a 24 Diamonds, New York, NY, discontinuance

Mastercraft Jewelers, Dewey, OK, discontinuance

Carly M. Fine Jewelry, LLC, Sewickley, PA, discontinuance

Stoeckel, George R. Jewelers, Stroudsburg, PA, discontinuance

Precious Jewelry, Inc., Miami, FL, consolidation

Adrene Jewelers, South Yarmouth, MA, consolidation

J.L.C. Jewelers Ltd., d/b/a Cellini Jewelers, New York, NY, consolidation

Lester Martin Jewelers, Inc., d/b/a Lester Martin Co., Dresher, PA, discontinuance

Classic Estate Jewelry, LLC, Lancaster, PA, consolidation

Root’s Rocks, Inc., d/b/a C. Kirk Root Designs, Austin, TX, consolidation

Jewels By G. Darrell Olson, Inc., d/b/a Jewels & Estate Gallery, Phoenix, AZ, discontinuance

Strausberg Bros Inc., d/b/a Strausberg Bros USA, San Diego, CA, discontinuance

Time Sales, Inc., d/b/a Tourneau TSS, Cabazon, CA, discontinuance

Henry Diamond Co., Los Angeles, CA, discontinuance

Childs, Ashley, Los Angeles, CA, discontinuance

DS Jewelry, Port Richey, FL, discontinuance

Chicago Diamond Industries, (Inc.), d/b/a C. D. I., Chicago, IL, discontinuance

Christopher Allan Jeweler LLC, South Bend, IN, discontinuance

Queena Jewelers, LLC, d/b/a Queena Jewelers Mfg Co., Novi, MI, discontinuance

Nick’s, West Plains, MO, discontinuance

Skillin’s Jewelers, Inc., Norwich, NY, discontinuance

Barato Trading Corporation, d/b/a Barato Watches, New York, NY, discontinuance

Sam Taylor Fine Jewelry LLC, Ashland, OH, discontinuance

David Anthony Jewelry Inc., New Lenox, IL, consolidation

Lawrence Jewelers, Inc., Fort Gratiot, MI, consolidation

Euphoria New York, L.L.C., Englewood, NJ, consolidation

Shun Xing Fine Jewelry Inc., New York, NY, consolidation

U.S. Capital Corporation, d/b/a Retail Store Services, Hollywood, FL, discontinuance

Little King’s Jewelry, Beecher, IL, discontinuance

It’s About Time Flamingo, (LLC), Las Vegas, NV, discontinuance

Digital World, (LLC), Las Vegas, NV, discontinuance

Sterling Possessions LLC, d/b/a Thistle & Bee, New York, NY, discontinuance

Nick’s Pawn & Jewelry, L.L.C., Lawton, OK, discontinuance

Lee, Jerry D., Inc d/b/a Ye Olde Clock Shop, League City, TX, discontinuance

Roman Jewelers, Inc., Flemington, NJ, consolidation

Aqua Master Enterprise Inc., New York, NY, consolidation

H.J.C. (Inc.), d/b/a Arkansas Cash For Gold, Maumelle, AR, discontinuance

Special Sales Company, d/b/a Berman’s Jewelers, Ellicott City, MD, discontinuance

Belle Jewelers LLC, Egg Harbor Township, NJ, discontinuance

Ava Accessories LLC, d/b/a Ava Sterling, Albuquerque, NM, discontinuance

Gold Rush Jewelers, Trotwood, OH, discontinuance

Jane’s, Inc., d/b/a Jane’s Fine Jewelry, Chattanooga, TN, discontinuance

Gold Creations, Inc., d/b/a Fulwiler Jewelers, Abilene, TX, discontinuance

Wendell Setterberg, Inc., d/b/a Setterberg Jewelers, Sun City, AZ, consolidation

O’Halloran Manufacturing Jewelry Co., Ltd, Baton Rogue, LA, consolidation

Bulova (Division of Citizen Watch Company of America, Inc.), New York, NY, consolidation

Luca + Danni, LLC, Cranston, RI, consolidation

Forbes Jewelers, Wadesboro, NC, discontinuance

Nippert Jewelers, LLC, Cincinnati, OH, discontinuance

 

Over the years, INSTORE has won 76 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at editor@instoremag.com.

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Headlines

852 US Jewelry Retailers Closed Their Doors in 2018

The number of closures is up from 2017’s figure.

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The Jewelers Board of Trade reports that 852 U.S. jewelry retailers stopped doing business in 2018.

That’s slightly more than the 817 businesses that closed in 2017.

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Of those, 706 fell into the category of “ceased operations,” while 122 were listed as “consolidations (sale/merger)” and 24 were classified as “bankruptcies.”

Meanwhile, 183 jewelry retail businesses opened their doors in the U.S. in 2018. That was up significantly from 131 in 2017.

Counting wholesalers and manufacturers along with retailers, 1,013 U.S. jewelry businesses closed their doors in 2018. That’s compared with 1,022 in 2017.

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The total number of jewelry retailers listed in the U.S. is now 18,974, compared with 19,823 at the end of 2017, according to the Jewelers Board of Trade.

The total number of jewelry businesses, including wholesalers and retailers, is 25,102, compared with 26,270 at the end of 2017.

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Newly Discovered Gemstone Is Harder Than Diamond

It’s been found on Earth for the first time.

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Shefa Yamim, a precious stone exploration company in Israel, has discovered a new mineral that is harder than diamond and which has never been found on Earth before.

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The material is called carmeltazite, and it was recently approved as a new mineral by the International Mineralogical Association Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification.

The mineral was named carmeltazite because of it its discovery on Mount Carmel and due to its major chemical components: titanium, aluminum and zirconium (“TAZ”), the company stated in a press release. Shefa Yamim trademarked the name “carmel sapphire” for the material.

The mineral “is a newly discovered type of corundum similar in appearance to the corundum, but unlike any other sapphire found in the world,” according to the company. The rough carmel sapphire is typically black, blue-to-green or orange-brown. The largest stone found is 33.3 carats.

The Vintage News reports that “it was previously believed that this type of mineral was only found on extraterrestrial material.”

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It’s harder than diamond and substantially rarer, “making its value extremely high,” according to the publication.

Avi Taub, CEO of Shefa Yamim, said in the release: “We are delighted that our Carmel Sapphire has been recognised as a host to many rare minerals. In today’s world where the prices of gems are determined predominantly by their rarity, the Carmel Sapphire is a unique discovery because it has not been found anywhere else in the world and was discovered by Shefa Yamim in the soil of the Holy Land. We believe this substantially increases the potential value of our ‘Gem Box’ of precious stones. The studies of Carmel Sapphire and its new minerals mark another milestone in the Company’s journey as we continue our progress towards trial mining in Zone 1 in 2019.”

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Founder of Luxury Jewelry Brand Leaves Company

His resignation was effective Dec. 31.

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Fawaz Gruosi, founder of Swiss luxury jewelry and watch company de Grisogono, has stepped down from his position as a board director and left the company.

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The resignation was effective Dec. 31, according to an article published by WorldTempus.

The decision had been some time in the making, and Gruosi had moving away from daily operations.

Elmar Wiederin, chairman of the de Grisogono board, was quoted saying, “As Founder of this inspirational brand twenty – five years ago, we are thankful to Fawaz Gruosi for his incredible passion and creativity.”

Wiederin continued: “Led by Céline Assimon and the skilled team in place, the Design studio and Atelier will continue to drive design and craftsmanship as before through a collective process, maintaining the traditions of daring creativity for which the brand is known.”

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Assimon was named CEO in December.

De Grisogono also recently named Keith Rosen to the role of general manager for its Americas operations, Rapaport News reports.

Read more at the WorldTempus

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