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Margulis Jewelers in Portland to Close After 90 Years in Business

The owner blames the area’s ‘vandalism, homelessness crisis, and sense of nighttime lawlessness.’

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Margulis Jewelers in downtown Portland has announced that it will close.

A sale has been underway with discounts of 40 percent to 70 percent, Oregon Live reported. David Margulis, owner of the business, said the decision to close was “agonizing.”

He wrote in a March 3 letter to customers that the city “has experienced the perfect storm of adversity” and that “independent businesses simply cannot withstand the economic forces which have caused the deterioration and resulting emptiness of Downtown Portland.”

The Daily Mail quoted Margulis attributing the closure to “broken downtown’s vandalism, homelessness crisis, and sense of nighttime lawlessness.”

Margulis Jewelers opened in 1932. David Margulis has owned it since 1985, when he took the reins from his father, Jerome Margulis. The store is located across from Pioneer Courthouse Square.

The business tried to make a comeback with a “survival sale” three months ago, but it wasn’t enough.

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Oregon Live noted that many downtown office towers have been empty since 2020 as a result of the pandemic, and homeless camping in the area is on the rise. Additionally, protests that turned violent in 2020 “gave the city a reputation for upheaval that has been hard to shake as well.”

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Bil Holehan, the manager of Julianna’s Fine Jewelry in Corte Madera, Calif., decided to go on to the next chapter of his life when the store’s owner and namesake told him she was set to retire. Before they left, Holehan says they decided to liquidate some of the store’s aging inventory. They chose Wilkerson for the sale. Why? “Friends had done their sales with Wilkerson and they were very satisfied,” says Holehan. He’d enthusiastically recommend Wilkerson to anyone looking to stage a liquidation or going-out-of-business sale. “There were no surprises,” he says. “They were very professional in their assessment of our store, what we could expect from the sale and they were very detailed in their projections. They were pretty much on the money.”

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