Tobin Jewelers, a family-owned business that has operated in Springfield for more than 100 years, will be closing on March 15.
Since 1997, the business has been led by the fourth generation of the Tobin family, R. Evan Hart. “Quite simply, the demographics of Springfield and the habits of buying have changed. We’ve seen a trend, and not necessarily going in the right direction,” explained Hart. “It’s not just the jewelry business. If you look at any retail business, it has been dramatically impacted by internet sales.”
In 1907, J. Ralph Tobin and Leroy Canham opened a jewelry store in on the south side of the square in downtown Springfield. On opening day, customers were given a bell with the slogan “ring the bell for your popular priced jeweler.” Tobin bought out his partner in 1917 and later moved the store to 204 S. Sixth Street. When his son, J. Willard Tobin, joined the business in 1934, the store was renamed J. Ralph Tobin and Son. Willard’s daughter, Ann Tobin Hart, joined the business in 1976 remains involved in its operation. Tobin Jewelers moved from downtown to its current location in The Gables in 1992.
Hart said he hasn’t decided what he will do next, and instead has been focusing on preparing for the closure. ”We’ll have a 30 percent discount starting Jan. 21, with increases each week until we get down to 75 percent off. We need to get rid of all the inventory.”
Hart said he is thankful for all the customers who have supported the business over the years and will miss seeing the regulars in the store.
“I love Springfield; it’s been my home for 50 years. My kids were born and raised here. It’s going to be tough to say goodbye to all of our Tobin family.”