“We are right now in the middle of the biggest, most profound transformation in the history of retail,” according to Robin Lewis, CEO of the Robin Report and a former executive at VF Corp. and Women’s Wear Daily. Due to a combination of factors, including the internet and mobile phone technology, the spending power of the millennial generation, retiring baby boomers, globalization, being a brick and mortar store is more challenging than ever before. This past holiday season, Amazon took nearly 40% of all retail sales. Meanwhile, Macy's just announced that they will be closing 68 doors and laying off 10,000 workers. On January 7, The Limited closed all of their stores, and will now be online only.
This past holiday season, we heard from customers who were disappointed that we no longer carry the large watch selection we used to have. The fact is that the watch business had changed so much, that every brand we carried was available online, at prices lower than we could purchase them for. The fact that these watches weren't sold by authorized dealers or with valid warranties didn't matter - our store became just a showroom for watches to be tried on, then purchased online. We too miss the old days when our watch clients would come in and hang out for hours talking watches, but retail is changing, and we must adapt in order to stay in the business that we love.
When you shop brick and mortar, not only are you supporting local small business, but you are also ensuring that you have a place to go when you need to get your jewelry repaired, watch batteries replaced, and heirloom jewelry redesigned. Here is where you can learn that even diamonds with all the same certifications on a piece of paper can look completely different from one another - every single one is unique! We can work with you to create custom pieces that you won't see on anyone else. Jewelry is meant to be special, and we love sharing these moments with you.
Mariko had a touching interaction recently that really hit home to us how meaningful the relationship can be between jeweler and client. A man came in during Christmas with his daughter, who was home from college. He told us the story of how many years ago, he came into Fox's to buy a gift for his wife, who was due to go into labor any day with the daughter who was standing beside him. He shared with Mariko how worried he was that day, and she gave him a piece of nephrite jade. She told him to keep it in his pocket and rub his worries into it. He ended up using that piece of jade for the births of all four of his children!
We look forward to being here for you for many years to come.