WILKES-BARRE — At Bartikowsky Jewelers in downtown Wilkes-Barre, the diamonds sparkle, the pearls shine, and the employees greet you when you walk through the door.
Owner Max Bartikowsky has been working here for more than 60 years.
“Marquees are a tough shape. They’re beautiful and they’re worth a lot of money,” said Bartikowsky.
Bartikowsky’s is a family business that was passed down to Max and his brother from their father and grandfather.
After 125 years, Max plans to close the doors early next year.
“With the economy and the internet, the internet is taking a lot of customers away from a lot of retailers,” said owner Max Bartikowsky.
It’s not all about the jewelry. People who shop there said it’s max and the other employees they’re going to miss the most because over the years, they’ve become family.
“They’re outstanding products, but the service was beyond description always, so that’ll be missed,” said Jeff Fremont of Forty Fort.
Teddi Janosov has been shopping here since she was 17 when the store was located on Public Square.
“Every piece of jewelry I have since I was a young girl has come from this institution, Bartikowsky’s Jewelers. I’m going to miss them terribly,” said Janosov of Nanticoke.
With no children of his own, Max had no one to take over the business, but he wants his customers to know he’ll miss them as much as they say they’ll miss the store.
“We thank everybody of course, but we met a lot of great people, made a lot of great friends, and sorry we can’t continue,” said Bartikowsky.
Max Bartikowsky owns the building that houses the store. He said the property is not for sale at this point.
Starting next Tuesday, all the jewelry will be discounted. They hope to clear out the store and close Bartikowsky’s sometime in mid-January.