The owners of Bernie Robbins Jewelers are forgoing what could be a lucrative sale of their high-end chain and opting instead to transfer ownership to a group of longstanding employees.
The Philadelphia Business Journal reported this month that the transition will involve about six veteran staff members from the store, which operates locations in in North Sycamore Street in Newtown Township, Montgomery County, and Somers Point, New Jersey.
Owners Harvey and Maddy Rovinsky are stepping back from the business and entrusting it to the employee group starting next year. Harvey Rovinsky was asked to continue as CEO, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
“My wife and I are not kids anymore,” Harvey said, according to the New York Post. “We don’t have any family in the business, and we kind of need a path for succession. … You know, our runway is getting shorter and if we have a problem with one of us or both of us, then the business goes away.”
“We’ve been looking for a way to keep it going, to keep really great people continually employed. Many of them have been with us 30 years, 25, 20 years. So these are long-term people, they’re like family,” he added.
The couple’s search for buyers who could uphold the store’s legacy proved unsuccessful, leading to their decision for employee transition.
The couple didn’t find a buyer “qualified to continue the legacy,” the New York Post reported.
Founded in 1962, initially as an appliance retailer, Bernie Robbins Jewelers later pivoted to jewelry.
The Rovinskys plan to hand over the business debt-free.