fb-pixel

Boston's jewelry business will lose a little of its sparkle when Dorfman closes its Back Bay boutique next month.

Brothers Jonathan and Douglas Dorfman, third-generation owners whose family has had a jewelry store in the city since the Great Depression, cited a number of factors in the decision to shutter, including a drop in overseas buyers and a changing retail landscape in the United States.

"The luxury business is going through a difficult time," said Jonathan Dorfman. "I didn't see it getting better for several years. We figured it made sense to monetize the inventory and say goodbye."

The closing comes only a year after the Dorfmans completed a major remodel of its 24 Newbury St. shop that featured a feminine aesthetic with white lacquer cases and mauve seating.

Advertisement



"We thought the future was pretty good, but it was a quirky year in retailing. Business shut down through mid-March due to the storms," he said. "And the Chinese basically dropped out of the market."

But Dorfman also suggested a shift among consumers was causing high-end jewelers not only to compete with other jewelers for customers, but with other forms of luxury spending.

"As this moment, other things are taking priority. The possession has become an experience. It's about the aspirational customer from Weston who wants to go to the spirituality retreat on a private jet, or on the lavish vacation in Chile," he said.

The brothers will, instead, focus on their other business, Connoisseurs, a Woburn-based company that sells jewelry cleaning products to big-box chains such as Target, Walmart, and J.C. Penney in more than 60 markets around the world.

"The store is lots of fun, but it became a distraction from our bigger business," he said. "Closing the store is not without some sadness. We've loved getting involved in charities like the MFA and MGH, and felt a part of the rhythm of the city. It's a history and warmth that's impossible to replicate."

Advertisement




Jill Radsken can be reached at jill.radsken@gmail.com.