National Jeweler Network

Market Developments

Marissa Collections partially reopens after fire

By Brecken Branstrator

October 21, 2013

Naples, Fla.--A little more than a month after a fire destroyed all merchandise except for its fine jewelry, Marissa Collections has reopened half of its store.

On Oct. 15, the Naples retailer opened 5,000 square feet of its 10,000 square feet of retail space.

A small fire on Sept. 7 closed the store after smoke damage ruined most of its merchandise, including clothing, handbags, shoes and more, all of which had to be replaced. The cause of the fire is still unknown, though they do know that it was electrical in nature.

“We were pretty fortunate for a variety of reasons,” store co-owner Jay Hartington said. “We are very organized and meticulous with our invoices and inventory. When this happened, we had that available to present it in good fashion to the insurance company.”

Marissa Collections was covered for the fire but is still in the process of working to get the money, he said.

Hartington noted that they were worried that the fire would’ve affected the servers containing the inventories and other important information. But the headquarters are located in a space above the retail store, which did not incur extensive damage, leaving the servers intact.

Hartington stressed the importance of retail stores keeping cash on the balance sheet for emergencies such as this.

“During this whole process, we continued to pay our employees, and we had to buy all the merchandise to restock our store as well as pay the bills,” Hartington said. “We had to rebuild while not generating revenue. It’s very cash intensive.”

The remaining 5,000 square feet of retail space will reopen little by little, with the majority slated to be operational within the next two to three weeks. It will culminate with the completion of the in-store Brunello Cucinelli boutique, which will be the last to open.

“We’re very fortunate that no one was hurt. Everyone really stepped up during this time of adversity,” Hartington said. “We’re better and stronger now as a company.”

While Marissa Collections has been carrying fine jewelry lines on a permanent basis since 2006, the company went all in last November when it opted to dedicate 1,400 square feet in the store strictly to jewelry.