Buxbaum Jewelry Advisors is conducting the final liquidation sale for Continental Jewelry’s superstore in Tampa, Florida. Discounts were listed by as much as 80 percent with a total retail value of inventory at about $5 million. Inventory must be sold before May at which time the space will have become the second freestanding jewelry store in Tampa to close its doors this year.
”First it was Avant Gold Jewelers on Dale Mabry Highway, and now venerable Continental Jewelry joins the growing list of local retail stores that have been forced to go out of business—just as Tampa prepares to host the 2012 Republican National Convention,” said Steven Buxbaum, the president of Buxbaum Jewelry Advisors, the firm conducting the sale. ”It is a sign of the times, not only for independent jewelry stores like Continental, but also for Tampa’s economy.”
Continental Jewelry was founded in 1982 and grew into one of the largest freestanding jewelry stores in the Tampa Bay area. ”It became well-known, in particular, for its unmatched selection of loose diamonds,” Buxbaum said. ”For decades, Continental was a destination-of-choice for couples looking to buy engagement rings or gifts of fine jewelry.”
But he added that jewelers’ destination stores have struggled to attract customers amid the hard economic times that began with the 2008 housing collapse and the Wall Street meltdown. “The last few years—marked by challenges such as the recession, global economic instability, high gas prices and ecommerce—have translated into extreme pressure for sellers of discretionary items like jewelry,” Buxbaum said. “While Tampa has enjoyed a bump from free-spending Brazilian tourists, it has yet to fully recover. It’s sad to see a local icon pass away.”
Continental’s inventory is now priced “so low” as to be unprecedented, Buxbaum conclude. ”In some cases, we’re talking about the bare value of the stones and the precious metals themselves,” he said. ”Better yet, this store still has an incredible selection of merchandise—literally thousands of engagement, wedding and other diamond rings, precious stones, and fine jewelry pieces. In particular, Continental’s huge collection of loose diamonds is being offered at the lowest prices in the Tampa Bay area.”