By Brecken Branstrator
Readers Fine Jewelers, established in California more than seven decades ago, closed its doors for the final time last Saturday.
Santa Monica, Calif.--Another longstanding independent jeweler has called it quits.

Santa Monica’s Readers Fine Jewelers ended its long run in California last week, shutting its doors for the final time on Saturday.

Readers was established more than 70 years ago and acquired by Eddie Guerboian in 1983. His son, Avedis, joined the family-operated business to become the sixth generation involved.

Avedis Guerboian told National Jeweler that the decision to close the store was made because they noticed most shoppers were spending less and wanting more custom jewelry, eliminating the need for a large store and inventory.

He added that he has established a custom jewelry business with his Edward Avedis collection, noting that it “makes sense to evolve with the market” as he builds a following online and through social media.

Prior to Readers’ closing, Avedis Guerboian posted a farewell letter on his store’s website.

In the letter, he talks about how today’s millennial shoppers are different, the challenges they bring, and what they should understand about small mom-and-pop shops. As a millennial himself, Guerboian speaks from his experience and perspective.

It reads in part, “Now, we face an evolution in how retail business is being conducted. Especially in the jewelry world, millennials are buying products in a new way. The Internet has changed everything. It has essentially put the consumer in control and there is no way to fight it.”

He also noted in the post the struggles with today’s consumers doing research ahead of time and the obstacles that brings.

“Now, it's all about how fast, cheap and better can I get it for. Feeling like because you Google it or watched a YouTube video, you know better than the business owner. I keep hearing this word, ‘democratize’ the industry, give the power to the consumer. Well, the consumer isn’t always right. The Internet isn’t always right. You didn’t put 10,000 hours in a business to know the craft. You’re not suddenly an expert on diamonds because you saw a certificate online and read about it on Wikipedia.”

The full letter can be found on the Readers website.

The point of the letter, he told National Jeweler, was to bring attention and gratitude to his parents’ generation, who did a lot to build up the industry.

“I myself am taking their generation for granted and have to be patient and find a balance,” Guerboian said.

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