Every day it seems we hear about another jewelry store closing or in bankruptcy. Jules R. Schubot in Troy, Michigan; Standt’s in Muncie, Indiana; Carrol’s Jewelers in Coral Gables, Florida; and Mednikow’s branch in Atlanta are just a few of the big-name independents recently announcing they are closing. Leo Robbins & Sons in Philadelphia is being forced into bankruptcy. And the Finlay going out of business sale is going on across the country.
Given the difficult year for retailers, more bankruptcies and other types of restructuring are likely in the months ahead. And when retailers go under, banks and other creditors end up holding the jewelry inventory. What they want, of course, is cash instead.
You know what often happens next: the big going-out-of-business-sale posters go up and big discounts are advertised. Even if the discounts aren’t that large, the perception in the market is that jewelry is cheap. This tarnishes the image of our product and also trains the consumer to buy only at sales.
But there’s another possibility. If, instead of that liquidation blow-out sale, a closeout specialist goes in and buys the inventory of the distressed retailer, the market in that town stays healthy. There isn’t the same amount of deep-discount advertising and there is less price pressure in the market.
And the liquidation specialist now offers the deeply discounted merchandise to other retailers. They can pass along the great values to their customers.
The healthy retailer stays healthy, with less competition in the market. The customer still gets to buy at attractive prices from a retailer who will be there to take care of him in the years to come. Everybody wins. That’s why, in times like these, the liquidation specialist is the retailer’s best friend.