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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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Jeweler Accused of Stealing from Customers

He was arrested May 30.

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A jeweler in Lawrenceville, GA, has been charged with theft, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Timothy New, owner of The Bench Jewelers, is accused of shortchanging some customers who left their jewelry with him for consignment. He also allegedly failed to complete custom design jobs that he promised, and failed to return the money.

New, 55, has been charged with theft by conversion and theft by taking.

He was arrested May 30, according to the Journal-Constitution.

The business has been closed.

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“Detectives have served several search warrants, which yielded the recovery of a large amount of jewelry,” Lawrenceville police Lt. Jake Parker said in a press release. “We are seeking help and looking to return the jewelry to the confirmed owners, as well as identify additional victims.”

Read more at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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Woman Indicted in Jeweler’s Stabbing Death

She’s accused of second-degree murder.

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A Tennessee woman has been indicted in connection with the stabbing death of 62-year-old jeweler Patrick Murphy in a New Orleans hotel room.

Magen Hall, 25, was charged with armed robbery and obstruction of justice and with the second-degree murder of Murphy in the three-count indictment handed up by an Orleans Parish grand jury.

The defendant’s name also is spelled Megan Hall in some court records.

Murphy was the owner of Murphy Jewelers, which has three stores in eastern Pennsylvania.
A housekeeper discovered Murphy’s body at 11:41 a.m. inside a room registered to Hall at the Empress Hotel at 1317 Ursulines Ave. New Orleans police homicide detective Patrick Guidry testified at a preliminary hearing in March that Murphy had been killed by three stab wounds — one to his neck and two to his abdomen.

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Hall has remained jailed since her March 3 arrest, in lieu of a $750,000 bond set for the murder allegation.

Hall faces a mandatory lifetime prison sentence if convicted of the murder charge, according to a press release from District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office. An armed robbery conviction carries a penalty of 10 to 99 years in state prison, while obstruction of justice in a homicide investigation is punishable by up to 40 years.

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Waiter Donates $200 to Jeweler’s Fundraiser, Wins Billionaire’s Heart, Gets Dream Job

The event raised $450,000 in all.

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At a catwalk held by family-owned jeweler Le Vian on June 2 in Las Vegas, a billionaire and a waiter became the unexpected stars of the show.

At the company’s 20th anniversary Chocolate Diamonds catwalk fundraiser, Le Vian CEO Eddie LeVian announced that his company would be matching donations for children’s and cancer charities up to $175,000. One donor pledged the full $175,000.

LeVian then invited other smaller donations which came from the floor, with each donor being gifted a balloon and a rose as a thank you.

A waiter, whom the Daily Mail identified as Diego Mario Galietti, suddenly took the roving microphone. Through tears, he explained that he was a single dad and pledged $200 in honor of his father, Luis DaSilva, who had died of cancer at age 55, and in honor of his daughter, who is 7. The 500-strong audience erupted into a standing ovation.

The total raised for charities on the night was $450,000, with Le Vian and a billionaire donor ultimately both raising their donations to $200,000 each.

The billionaire top donor has now offered the waiter a job in his property company. The billionaire donor himself was orphaned at a young age and built himself up from troubled beginnings to become a plumber, a builder and now a property mogul in the U.S. market.

Charities supported by the fundraiser were Jewelers for Children, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and the Rafa Foundation.

Watch the video:

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