Kessler Jewelers, the family-owned business that for more than 40 years has been a fixture of the downtown shopping district even as everything around it changed, will close its doors for good next month, the family said.
An award-winning shop whose grand opening in 1967 coincided with the opening of the Golden Mall, Kessler served as the last remaining holdout of an era that saw seven downtown jewelers shut down in the last 50 years.
A sluggish economy, Internet competition, soaring downtown rents and the mass migration of buyers from brick-and-mortar jewelers to big-box chains have made for an especially tough last three years, the family said.
"Ever since the writers strike, things have been really tough," said Barry Kessler, 50, who began working for his father, Allen Kessler, at age 16. "Put simply: The rent went up, and what didn't go up was our profit margin."
Kessler Jewelers, whose four full-time employees boast a combined 135 years of experience in the business, has remained in the same building for the last 43 years. Founded by Allen Kessler, the company survived lean times by handcrafting and customizing much of its retail offerings.