After closing quietly last week, Continental Jewelers in Tampa kicked off its going-out-of-business sale this week.
The six-year-old retail store at 405 N Westshore Blvd. in Tampa owned by brothers Don and Glenn Smith will close permanently this winter after a sale run by creditors.
The 30-year-old Tampa fine jewelry company plans to maintain its business in Jacksonville and Atlanta that works with insurance companies to replace lost and stolen items.
"The recession took a real toll on the fine jewelry business, including this store that was expanded at the peak of the good times in November 2005," said Stevan Buxbaum, president of Buxbaum Jewelry Advisors, the California liquidator running the sale. "Business overall is a bit better since the recent 'cash for gold' craze helped shoppers recognize jewelry has lasting value that can be turned back into money."
Continental's $5 million inventory is heavily stocked with designer bridal and fashion jewelry as well as loose diamonds.