Generosity is alive and well in America. The following story is proof positive.
Harvey and Maddy Rovinsky own Bernie Robbins Jewelers (BRJ), once a go-to shop in Center City Philadelphia. Maddy’s father started the business in 1962 as a hardware shop before transitioning to the lucrative jewelry sector.
Forty employees work at three BRJ shops today in Somers Point, New Jersey, and in Villanova and Newtown, Pennsylvania. The company was forced to downsize following the 2008 recession to stay in business.
Now after decades of helping young men find the perfect diamond ring for their true loves, the Rovinskys are selling the business. But they’re determined to keep BRJ “in the family.”
So they’re selling the company to a group of loyal employees – for free.
Inventory being marked down but the business will keep rolling
Most business owners in the same situation would sell to the highest bidder or liquidate. Over the years, Harvey and Maddy got their fair share of offers to sell the business. Chances are they were tempted to cash out at some point.
Instead the Rovinskys are selling $25 million of jewelry at two of their stores for half-off or higher. The proceeds of the sale will be used to pay off company debt and the rest will go back into the business.
“We didn’t want the business to go away if something happened to us, so we needed to find succession,” Harvey told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “We have run this company exactly the way that Bernie did it when he started it, and that’s why we were not going to just sell it to anybody who would take it over and change it. Who could better succeed us than the people that are running the company with us?”
Harvey will stay on as the company’s CEO at the request of the employees. Several of those employees have been with the Rovinskys for decades. He and Maddy will remain involved in the day-to-day running of the business, but with the freedom to step away when they’re ready.
The turnover of the business is expected to be complete in early 2024. Here’s to many more years of success for Bernie Robbins Jewelers – and a Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.