A priceless gift: Bernie Robbins owners to give away ownership of store to employees for free

Matteo Iadonisi Image
Friday, November 17, 2023
Bernie Robbins Jewelers is giving away ownership to employees for free
The jewels in this shop sell for big numbers. But the cost for loyal employees taking ownership of the store is apparently priceless.

SOMERS POINT, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Bernie Robbins is a big name in local jewelry. And its glistening wares sell for big numbers. But the cost for loyal employees taking ownership of the store is apparently priceless.

The story started in the 1960s with Bernie Rosenberg, founder of Bernie Robbins Jewelers. His daughter and son-in-law, Madeline and Harvey Rovinsky, oversaw the store's growth stretching into the 1990s and up to the present day.

But the couple felt the clock ticking as there were no obvious choices for who would become owner for the next generation.

"Madeline and myself recognized the need for succession. And we never found somebody suitable that could continue my legacy, Maddy's legacy, and Bernie's legacy," said Harvey Rovinsky. "And then we said, 'It's right here.'"

They looked to their trusted employees, specifically a handful of managers, to carry that torch.

But the Rovinskys are not selling their business to them. They are giving it to them at no charge.

"The same people that all of our clients have come to know and really love, and they really love them, they will be now owning Bernie Robbins Jewelers."

One of those people is Steven Jaffe, a store manager who has been with the company for nearly three decades.

"It wasn't just a job. It was always, they cared about us. They cared about their employees," said Jaffe. "And frankly, they gave me an opportunity to continue to grow in our industry."

Bernie Robbins is now hosting a retirement sale where customers can receive up to 60% off certain jewelry items. The sale is designed to eliminate the debt accrued by the store so the new owners can start the new year debt-free. The transfer of ownership is expected to take place in time for the first quarter of 2024.

To learn more about Bernie Robbins Jewelers and their locations in Somers Point, Villanova, and Newtown, visit their website.

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