Our Jeweler on the Lam

Our Old JewlerWhen I pro­posed to Pam, I had already got­ten a ring at Alpha Omega Jew­el­ers in Cam­bridge. It was a small shop in Har­vard Square, fam­i­ly run, with not spec­tac­u­lar­ly high or low prices. In the years since then, we used them for not only our wed­ding rings, but oth­er bits of jewelry.

So, I was not with­out a fair amount of shock when I read this head­line on the web site boston.com:
Alpha Omega liq­ui­da­tion sale set to start tomorrow

What was even more shock­ing was why they were liq­ui­dat­ing our old fam­i­ly jeweler:

The invest­ment con­sor­tium that bought the assets of Alpha Omega Jew­el­ers in a bank­rupt­cy court-approved sale said that the liq­ui­da­tion sale of the chain’s inven­to­ry will begin at its four stores tomorrow.

Every­thing must be sold before Ross-Simons, a Rhode Island-based chain, assumes the leas­es of Alpha Omega stores at Nat­ick Col­lec­tion and the Pru­den­tial Cen­ter in Boston, and items will be dis­count­ed to ensure fast sales, the con­sor­tium said.

The chain’s oth­er two stores are locat­ed in Har­vard Square and at the Burling­ton Mall.

Accord­ing to sto­ries in the Globe data base, Alpha Omega Jew­el­ers filed for pro­tec­tion under Chap­ter 11 of the US Bank­rupt­cy Code last month. The fil­ing came after own­er Raman Han­da unex­pect­ed­ly left the coun­try with his wife, son, and daugh­ter, prompt­ing the com­pa­ny’s bank to seize Alpha Omega assets and tem­porar­i­ly close its stores just before Christmas.

That’s right, they were going bank­rupt because the own­er fled the coun­try with his fam­i­ly. Sud­den­ly my mind filled with all the plots of Jew­el heists, with the thieves head­ing for Mex­i­co, hav­ing deposit­ed some of their mis­be­got­ten wealth in a Swiss Bank Account…

And to think I was served by Mr. or Mrs. Han­da (I nev­er learned their names, nor do I remem­ber them par­tic­u­lar­ly well), who might have been plan­ning their dis­ap­pear­ances for years!

Or per­haps it was some­thing less glam­orous and far more depress­ing, like mount­ing debts and “a threat to him­self or a mem­ber of his family”.

3 Replies to “Our Jeweler on the Lam”

  1. Going on the lam did­n’t lead to bank­rupt­cy; they went bank­rupt because the Han­das over­spent to expand their busi­ness, and could­n’t make up for it in sales. They mortaged their house sev­er­al times over to pay for every­thing, and owed every pub­li­ca­tion in town mon­ey for ads by mid-June 2007. It’s a very straight­for­ward and sad sto­ry. No threats, just an over­abun­dance of opti­mism and some real­ly poor forecasting.

  2. Thanks, Anne. Too bad Han­das screwed up so bad­ly. It’s a cau­tion­ary tale about plan­ning and what can hap­pen if you don’t take into account the worst scenarios.

    I’ll miss the place. Yet anoth­er thing that has gone since I lived in Cam­bridge (along with Wordsworth books in Har­vard Square and Goe­man Noo­dles at One Kendall Square — actu­al­ly, there were at least 2 restau­rants after Goe­man in that par­tic­u­lar space, and who knows how many there have been since)

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