By Michelle Graff
From left, Jeff Corey, Kathy Corey and David Davidson, the original founder of Day’s, when the Coreys purchased the Day’s Corporation from the Davidson family in 1988.New York--Jewelers of America has inducted Waterville, Maine-based Day’s Jewelers into its JA 100 Club to celebrate the retailer’s century in the jewelry business.

The JA 100 Club was set up in 1995 to honor the organization’s member stores that have been in continuous operation for a century or longer and have set an example of professionalism in their community and across multiple generations.

Day’s Jewelers originally was founded in 1914 by Captain Harry Davidson in Portland, Maine, as a pawn shop and auction center. His three sons--Sidney, David, and Herman--then joined him to help run the family business, which grew into the largest chain in New England with 21 stores.

When the remaining brothers retired from the business in 1988, Day’s was bought by Mark Ford and Kathy, Jim, and Jeff Corey, the last two of which had a special connection to the store--Jeff and Jim Corey’s father started his career in the industry at Day’s before opening his own store, Robert’s Jewelry, where his sons learned the trade.

Today, husband and wife team Jeff and Kathy Corey run the business with the help of Jim and their children and staff. Day’s currently operates six stores throughout New England--in Auburn, Bangor, Brunswick, South Portland, and Waterville, Maine, and Manchester, N.H.

In a story about retailers that had lasted a century or more that was published last year, Jeff Corey told National Jeweler that the business’s success was attributed to a number of factors, including sticking to its ideals and values.

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Examples of these are providing all customers with the opportunity to own fine jewelry by offering a range of products and prices, providing the best value in both goods and services, and viewing customers’ jewelry beyond just monetary value, taking into account sentimental value.

The retailer also has been focus on adapting to the way technology has altered shopping, providing a thriving e-commerce site for its shoppers to use, and creating an atmosphere where all employees feel they can be heard.

“We’re a company that trusts people,” Corey said. “Our employees are given the authority to make their own decisions across the company. If we’re going to be successful, we need to find a way to tap into the mind of every individual in our company, and that’s not always an easy task. Mistakes are made, and we use that as part of the learning process.”

The Coreys also are charitable members of their community. In 2003, they created the “Diamonds for Peace” fund to help those in need both in their local area as well as internationally, wherever their store’s jewelry products were sourced. Last month, Day’s presented a check for $102,300 to Jewelers for Children after pledging to raise at least $100,000 for the charity in 2014 to mark a century in business.

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Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.