Perspectives from ISB

Readers Fine Jewelers was established more than seven decades ago in Santa Monica, California. It was acquired by Eddie Guerboian, a fifth generation jeweler in 1983. His son, Avedis “Avo” Guerboian, recently joined the business to become the sixth-generation jeweler. The store went on to become Santa Monica’s largest family-owned jewelry store and underwent an extensive remodeling in 2009 as well. However on June 25, 2016 the shop closed its doors permanently.

The family members blamed the shopping habits of the millennial generation for their decision to close the store. Over a period of time they noticed that customers were shopping online rather than buying from brick-and-mortar, family-owned jewelry stores. Moreover customers were spending less and wanting more custom jewelry, thereby eliminating the need for a large store and inventory.

In a farewell letter posted online, the family acknowledged the evolution in the retail business and their commitment to evolve with the market. Although they are bitter at having to let go of their traditional family business model, yet they are optimistic that their new online business model would enable them to reach out to many more consumers than before. This phoenix like ability to recreate and reinvent from ashes, is what enable family businesses to sustain their legacy across generations.


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