By Lenore Fedow
James Avery Artisan Jewelry will close its workshop in Fredericksburg, Texas in July.
Kerrville, Texas—James Avery Artisan Jewelry will shutter its workshop in Fredericksburg, Texas, laying off 82 employees.

In a letter to the Texas Workforce Commission, the company said the closure was “due to unforeseen business circumstances” and is expected to be permanent.

The foundry operation within the facility and its associates will not be affected, the letter states.

There are no plans to close the jeweler’s manufacturing facilities in Kerrville, Comfort, and Hondo, Texas, a company spokesperson confirmed to National Jeweler.

Some Fredericksburg employees may be transferred to available positions at its Kerrville Craftsman Center, depending upon skill level, performance and other criteria.

The company said it will work with employees who are not given a transfer, offering a pay and benefits package, including four to eight weeks of pay and up to two weeks of accrued sick and paid personal time as well as health insurance for six months.

The jeweler began closing its stores and most of its manufacturing facilities in March in response to the coronavirus pandemic, followed by furloughs and salary cuts in April.

As for its furloughed workers, a company spokesperson said the jeweler will “call associates back on a limited basis as we reopen corporate offices, stores and manufacturing in the coming weeks.”

Most locations have been open as of April 24, offering contactless curbside pickup only.

The company said it hopes to reopen locations for in-store shopping soon, while following state recommended health protocols and Centers for Disease Control guidelines.

The family-owned jeweler operates 90 stores across four states with its jewelry available in more than 220 Dillard’s stores as well as in airport stores, select Army and Air Force Exchange Service locations, and on its website.

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