Last updateThu, 18 Jan 2018 10am

Howard Kelrick

Retailing in the On-Line Age

The fourth largest book store chain in the nation is closing.

Book World, a 45 store chain located in the upper Midwest could not survive the changing nature of retailing, and so announced its liquidation.

“That’s a shame!” you are probably saying to yourself. “But, Howard, I’m a jeweler, and this is a jewelry publication, so what could that possibly have to do with me?”

24 Karat Corner: Graduates, please apply here!

It’s June and graduates of all types are asking themselves: “What am I going to do with my life?” A wise friend of mine offered them this sage advice: “Choose a field that neither the Chinese nor the internet can put you out of business. This leaves either running a day-care center or giving hair cuts!”

24 Karat Corner: 2017 Jeweler of the Year Preview

During the recent election cycle, Jerry Seinfeld quipped that, “If you think that you are qualified to be President of the United States, that, in itself, should automatically disqualify you for even being considered! How could one person reasonably think they can be Commander-in-Chief, manage the world’s biggest economy, deal with the middle east and all the other unsolvable problems of the job, all while half the country hates you and hopes that you are going to fail?”

24 Karat Corner: The Passover message for jewelers

Depending on who is doing the counting, it looks like about 2,000 independent retail jewelry stores closed up shop in 2016. That’s about 10% of the total nationwide, and that is just astonishing. Many of these stores were third generation businesses and long established pillars of their communities.

The unfortunate thing for the owners is that they had to close their stores, rather than being able to sell them or transfer them to the next generation or the current staff. This means that instead of getting a multiple of the store’s earnings and full value for the inventory, the owner’s had to settle for some fraction of the value of the store’s remaining stock.

24 Karat Corner: Who cares about overhead?

Recently I visited a mall far, far away. I was desperately searching for the food court in a mall that had clearly seen better days. Many of the store fronts were empty, and the retailers that were open were down-market and tired looking. As I turned the corner, I saw a small jewelry store. “Bonus!” I thought, someone to point me in the right direction and maybe even have lunch with.