A pillar of Sudbury’s downtown business closing after 84 years


Jennifer Zuliani, proper, co-owner of Robert Brown Jewellers, and her mother, Phyllis McKay, test over a number of pieces on sale on the retailer final sale on the industry situated at 62 Cedar Side road in Sudbury, Ont. on Friday November 2, 2018. The industry has been round for greater than 84 years.

John Lappa/Sudbury Superstar


Heather Lehman, proper, of Robert Brown Jewellers, is helping Janet and Chris Pritchard select a hoop on the retailer final sale on the industry situated at 62 Cedar Side road in Sudbury, Ont. on Friday November 2, 2018. The industry has been round for greater than 84 years. John Lappa/Sudbury Superstar/Postmedia Community

John Lappa /

John Lappa/Sudbury Superstar

 

When Robert Brown threw open the doorways to his store on Durham Side road in 1934, downtown Sudbury was once a bustling position with dozens of jewelers and different outlets.

Now, the pillar of Cedar Side road, the place Robert Brown Jewellers relocated in 1953, is final the ones doorways early subsequent 12 months. It’s the remaining of the remaining and the most efficient of the remaining.

Proprietor Jennifer Zuliani introduced overdue remaining month she and her colleagues have made the tough choice to near after 84 years within the core.

She blames various components, together with the upward thrust of on-line buying groceries and parking issues downtown.

“The explanation most of the people shut is because of a lower in gross sales. It’s not possible for us to continue to exist,” she stated. “There are a lot of components; one is our location – the downtown, with the problems with the parking and iciness. We now have heavy winters and it makes it tough for patrons to revel in simple get admission to to us. And numerous more youthful persons are making purchases on-line.”

So far as parking is anxious, Zuliani stated “we at all times get calls about problems with parking.” Whilst she has been instructed to refer shoppers to Power Court docket, which is wedged in between the Beer Retailer on Lorne Side road and the teach tracks, that simply isn’t possible for lots of shoppers.

“Numerous folks have mobility problems and they may be able to’t trip that distance,” she stated. “For our more youthful shoppers, they’ve busy lives they usually simply don’t really feel like they may be able to come up with the money for a 20-minute stroll of their day to get to the shop.”

They did imagine relocating, however Zuliani stated the start-up prices, mixed with dwindling gross sales, supposed it will be too tough.

When the store introduced it was once final on Fb, the reaction was once unbelievable, Zuliani stated. As of Wednesday night, just about 300 folks had made feedback and the put up were shared greater than 600 occasions. Many of us reminisced a few favorite piece of jewellery bought at Robert Brown, or waxed nostalgic about engagement rings and the fabled digicam division.

As a way to liquidate the products and pay tribute to a group that has been trustworthy for an entire life, Robert Brown is web hosting an enormous closing-out sale. The entirety within the retailer is on sale. (I went to interview Zuliani and walked out with two pairs of earrings and a Swiss Military knife).

“Our common shoppers were popping out and it’s been an unbelievable time. Everybody’s been appearing their reinforce and disappointment,” Zuliani stated. “We posted one Fb put up to speak about this sale and it had greater than 40,000 perspectives, with none boosting. That’s how we marketed the sale, thru one put up. It presentations how a lot we imply to the group. It unfold like wild fireplace.”

Zuliani stated “numerous persons are devastated.” Along with top-notch jewellery and watches, Robert Brown has a very good restore store on the again. There may be little or no they can’t do again there with their tiny tools and magnified monocles.

“We had numerous trustworthy, dependable shoppers; it was once simply that we weren’t ready to get any new shoppers,” she stated.

As a in the community owned industry, Robert Brown knew intuitively what its shoppers had been in search of and it at all times carried paintings by means of some native artisans, together with potters and jewelers.

Whilst Robert Brown is in its ultimate act, Zuliani stated customers will have to make investments time within the downtown.

“Don’t surrender at the downtown, there are nonetheless numerous nice native retail outlets with distinctive pieces,” she stated. “It’s unhappy that we’re going, however there nonetheless are numerous nice retail outlets that I need Sudburians to come back and consider, as a result of whilst you store native, your greenback remains in Sudbury. That’s an actual essential issue.”

Zuliani stated by means of a long way, essentially the most tough a part of final was once telling her workers, lots of whom were with the industry for a decade or extra.

“They care in regards to the shoppers, they love the shop, they care about our recognition,” she stated. “You couldn’t discover a higher team of workers.”

Zuliani stated she isn’t certain what comes subsequent, however her temporary plans come with a holiday within the Caribbean.

Robert Brown Jewellers is situated at 62 Cedar St. It’s open Monday thru Saturday. For more info, cross to robertbrownjewellers.com.

[email protected]

Twitter: @marykkeown

705 674 5271 ext. 505235



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