ST. GEORGE – McArthur Jewelers is closing its doors for good Saturday. Longtime customers were surprised and saddened by the news that Tom and Allison McArthur are retiring and closing the Main Street store that has served the community for more than 65 years.
Friends and customers lined up outside the store Thursday for the first of a three-day sale to liquidate the store’s inventory.
“It’s so sad. I’ve talked to so many people about the McArthurs retiring and everybody is so happy for them but at the same time sad for us, because I don’t think there’s another jeweler in St. George that meets the quality of care and service that McArthur gives,” customer Dolly O’Meara said. “They’re just No. 1. I don’t know where I’m going to go.”
O’Meara was one of several longtime customers asked to help out during the sale which served more as a going away party for the end of an era.
“Really, when people come in I’m more interested in how they’re doing than we are about what they’re buying,” owner Tom McArthur said. “So many of them are dear friends that have been good customers of ours that we just want to express appreciation for the community and the support we’ve had.”
The decision to close the store came after the next generation of McArthurs decided they couldn’t take on full responsibility for the business and meet other obligations.
“Family businesses, especially retail, require tremendous commitment,” Tom McArthur said. “It was just a situation where that commitment couldn’t be made by either of them so we thought, well what are we waiting for?”
The McArthurs plan to spend more time with their 22 grandchildren and will continue their church and community service projects.
“Hopefully we can just travel a bit together and enjoy each other’s company in our more senior years,” Tom McArthur said.
When asked in an interview Friday about what it means to be part of a Main Street institution, Tom McArthur became misty-eyed.
“We just don’t know because we live day to day. The days go by and the next thing you know, you’ve been here a long time,” he said. “I think one of the revelations we’re having now is what it really meant to the community and to us.”
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