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Top Jewelry Stories of 2020

These were the most-clicked INSTORE articles of the year.

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WHAT A LONG, STRANGE YEAR it’s been. 2020 included a pandemic, shutdowns, the loss of industry members, crime, and other unfortunate news. If you’re like us, you’ve tried to find joy where possible, but you’re looking forward to a much better 2021.

But before we ring in the New Year, we wanted to pause for a look back at the year’s biggest news. These are the 10 most-read stories of 2020. Click through for the full stories. (Note that there may have been further news developments that aren’t reflected here.)

10. Kroger to Close Dozens of Jewelry Stores Permanently

The grocer said in May that it would shutter many of its Fred Meyer Jewelers stores throughout the U.S.

9. Gwen Stefani Shows Off $500,000 Engagement Ring

In the only uplifting story on our list, the singer in October showed off a ring from country music performer Blake Shelton.

8. Jewelry Wholesalers Robbed of $500,000 in Goods

The crime took place in a Whole Foods parking lot in Tampa in July; the victims were in town to meet with clients. Police described the stolen goods only as “various jewelry.”

7. James Avery to Close Jewelry Workshop, Lay Off 82

The company cited ‘unforeseen business circumstances’ as it revealed plans in May to shut down a workshop in Fredericksburg, TX.

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6. Andrew Meyer, Owner of Continental Wholesale Diamonds, Dies in Plane Crash

The crash of Meyer’s Cessna 310, which he was piloting, occurred in March near Charleston, SC. He was 64.

5. Video: Texas Jewelry Store Employee Shot in Robbery

The robbery at Korman Fine Jewelers in Central Austin occurred in May.

4. Texas Jeweler Dies of COVID-19

Randy Flatau, who ran Randy’s Fine Jewelry in Beaumont for decades, died at age 70.

3. Jewelry Designer Yupadee Kobkulboonsiri Dies at 51 of Coronavirus

A Bangkok native who moved to New York and graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology, Kobkulboonsiri was honored in a variety of trade competitions. She eventually taught at the institute.

2. Jewelry Stores Hard-Hit by Looting, Vandalism and Burglary

In late May and early June, jewelry stores were among the businesses damaged as rioting and looting gripped cities across the U.S. Protests took place in dozens of cities following the death of George Floyd, an African American man who was being restrained by police in Minneapolis. In some cases the demonstrations escalated to vandalism, arson, looting and violence.

1. Fake Police Rob NYC Jewelry Store

Two men dressed as police officers robbed Samaa K Jewelry on the Upper East Side in June. They claimed they were there to do an inspection in case looters showed up.

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James Ritchie is the online content editor for SmartWork Media.

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Wilkerson Testimonials

Retirement Made Easy with Wilkerson

The store was a landmark in Topeka, Kansas, but after 80 years in business, it was time for Briman’s Leading Jewelers to close up shop. Third generation jeweler and owner Rob Briman says the decision wasn’t easy, but the sale that followed was — all thanks to Wilkerson. Briman had decided a year prior to the summer 2020 sale that he wanted to retire. With a pandemic in full force, he had plenty of questions and concerns. “We had no real way to know if we were going to be successful or have a failure on our hands,” says Briman. “We didn’t know what to expect.” But with Wilkerson in charge, the experience was “fantastic” and now there’s plenty of time for relaxing and enjoying a more secure retirement. “I would recommend Wilkerson to any retailer considering a going-out-of-business sale,” says Briman. “They’ll help you reach your financial goal. Our experience was a tremendous success.”

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