Wick & Greene Jewelers closing; plans for building, clock


Image Courtesy Of: Citizen Times

Wick & Greene's engagement ring sales have risen 900 percent in the last two years, and in 2015, the 90-year-old business sold more jewelry than ever before. But it announced Thursday it's going out of business.

But what about the clock that greets people coming up Patton Avenue? What about the building on the National Register of Historic Places? What about the I-240 billboard campaign that nearly stopped traffic last year when it debuted with a mannequin spray painting a proposal message?

First, the billboard worked. It contributed to those big sales, and it's up for a national award, according to owners Eva-Michelle Greene Spicer and Elliott Spicer.

As for the clock and the building, Eva-Michelle said, "The family has big plans for this historic building. We're not knocking it down. We're not doing anything crazy."

What happens next depends on the closing sale that began Thursday morning. Discounts run 20 percent or more, and Elliott said they will drop prices until all the jewelry is gone.

"We're selling it to the walls," he said.

The money from the sale will go toward renovation of the building and care for the clock that has served as the business' logo.

The closing is related to the market, but the jewelry business remains a viable one, Eva-Michelle explained.

"We see an opportunity for change," she said. "Millennials are buying bigger rings, but the environment in which they are buying them is changing."

Eva-Michelle and Elliott are experts on millennials as well as jewelry: The trained gemologists are also in their twenties, and they're the fourth generation of the jewelry family.

They said their family is optimistic about the changes.

"We basically need to reinvigorate what's going on in the business," Elliott said. "Legacy businesses have a very hard time thriving in our jewelry industry today. If you don't change with the times, you can get left in the dust really quick."

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