With the news of the impending closure of 200 Kay, Jared and Zales jewelry stores, I couldn’t help but get emotional. The exact stores that will be closed haven’t been announced yet, but with 200 going down, there’s sure to be one near you that’s going away.

Now, here’s the thing. I’m used to retail stores closing. It’s been going on for years. And now, with COVID-19, we’re going to be seeing more and more of it. But it always bothers me when a retail chain closes because I just feel that it it’s one of the sad signs of the “new” economy that doesn’t include retail.

I like stores. I LOVED stores. I remember taking my son to Zales for his first girlfriend‘s birthday gift. I think he was in seventh grade and he chose a little gold bracelet with a tiny teeny little blue stone of some sort embedded in it. The mall was such a big part of our lives that that was where we would go to buy everything, even jewelry. Even though I knew people In the jewelry business and when online shopping arrived I could easily procure any type of bauble online, there was something about visiting a mall jewelry store.

Something about those clear glowing glass cases that must’ve been polished 1,000 times a day to keep them fingerprint-free, or maybe those special sparkle lights that made everything so searingly bright that every piece just beckoned you to purchase it. There was something that seemed very stable and traditional about having a jewelry store on a couple of corners of every mall you went to. And there was something comforting about the fact that no matter what more you went to in any part of the country you would always see one of those standards Zales, Jared or Kay.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi's own.

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