Barrington Jewels sparkles despite economic downturn

August 29, 2009

Business name: Barrington Jewels Inc.

916 E. 82nd St. 46240

Phone: 598-1600

E-mail: goel@barringtonjewels.com

Web site: www.barringtonjewels.com

Founded: 1988

Founders: Goel and Mitra Ahdoot

Owners: Goel and Mitra Ahdoot

Service/Product: fine jewelry

Employees: 12

Revenue: $5 million

Date of first profile: Dec. 13, 2004

The recession has put the squeeze on many retailers, but fine jewelry is an exception, at least at Barrington Jewels. Owners Goel and Mitra Ahdoot are seeing their business flourish in spite of the poor economy.

Goel Ahdoot said their business has tripled in the last five years.

“People are noticing the value of fine jewelry today,” said Goel, who launched Barrington 21 years ago after spending time wholesaling jewels in Chicago.

He has seen a major increase in sales of high-end products like large gemstones, such as emeralds, rubies and sapphires. However, sales of low-end items (under $250) have slowed. Consumers of less-expensive items have been more affected by the recession, Goel said.

A primary factor in the sales increase was the store’s move out of the Fashion Mall to its own, larger building in 2003, Goel said. The move increased the size of the store from 1,000 to 10,000 square feet.

“We used to have three showcases in the mall; now we have 12,” Goel said. Barrington has increased its offerings accordingly, in particular expanding its watch lines, its collection of wedding bands and engagement rings, and its inventory of loose diamonds and engagement ring mountings. The store now carries 2,000 different mountings. Its engagement rings range from $700 to $1 million.

Goel believes his store’s customer service also has played a role in the growth of the business. The store has many customers who have been coming in for years, and the Ahdoots know their tastes. Whenever the store gets new arrivals, they inform customers who might be especially interested in a certain item.

“If we get nicely made rubies, we call customers who like rubies,” Goel said. “It has been very effective.”•


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