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US Jewelry Stores Begin Reopening

May 26, 2020 10:45 AM   By Rapaport News
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US jewelers have restarted business in many states following a more than two-month shutdown to stem the spread of Covid-19.

Signet banner Kay Jewelers has opened nearly 120 stores across the country, while business has resumed at about 100 Jared locations. Some of Signet’s stores are open to the public, while purchases at others can only be made online and picked up curbside, the company noted.

“[The] initial phase of reopening is just the first small step in getting back to business in-person, but it marks an exciting milestone,” Jared CEO Bill Brace said.

Tiffany & Co. has also reopened approximately 70 of its stores throughout the US, with many available by appointment only, while others are closed to the public but offer curbside pickup, or allow customers to place orders via phone. Pandora has so far resumed business in about half of its 375 US locations, a feat made easier as the Danish jeweler did not furlough its staff.

“We’ve kept our teams on the payroll during lockdown, so we have been able to hit the ground running,” the company said.

A number of jewelers have cut back on certain services, including jewelry inspection, cleaning and repair, and have shortened store hours, to comply with government rules. They have also implemented several other health-and-safety measures. All employees are required to perform daily health screenings, wear masks in stores, and regularly wipe down store surfaces and sanitize all jewelry and countertops after every customer interaction.

Meanwhile, Warren Buffett-owned Helzberg Diamonds is slowly reopening its stores, CEO Beryl Raff said. The company expects to have nearly 100 stores operating by the end of the month, and the remainder by the end of the summer.

“We’re taking a phased approach, reopening stores when it’s allowed by state and local authorities, when we’re prepared with adequate staff, when we’ve implemented the right safety measures and protocols, and can confidently ensure the safety and well-being of our customers and associates,” Raff added.

Ben Bridge, also part of the Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate, had resumed business in its Alaska, Texas, Hawaii, Arizona and Oregon locations as of May 21, while Buffett-owned Borsheims has recommenced operations in its Nebraska store.

Image: Tiffany’s flagship New York store. (Tiffany & Co.) 
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Tags: ben bridge, Berkshire Hathaway, Beryl Raff, Bill Brace, borsheims, COVID-19, Helzberg Diamonds, Jared, Kay Jewelers, Pandora, Rapaport News, Signet, Tiffany, Tiffany & CO., US jewelry stores, warren buffett
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