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Sharing memories of Jewelcor in the York County Shopping Center, and BEST, too!

Regarding my question back in February about what, exactly, was Jewelcor, Ivan helped me out a lot! He writes, “Jewelcor was a general merchandise store similar to Best on Eastern Blvd.”

Joann Emig says, “Jewelcor was a discount jewelry store, as I recall. In 1977, my late husband and I bought my wedding ring there. I believe they sold other items, too, but we didn’t shop there often. Thanks for bringing back the memory.”

Ben Lightner writes, “Jewelcor? Now there is a blast from the past. I remember going there after I had Drum lessons at Menchey Music. They had all kind of neat stuff for a little kid to get in trouble with.”

Hubby had some sort of bad news, though. His comment? “It’s not good news when I type ‘Jewelcor Stores’ into Google and the first hit that comes up is for … this blog entry. It appears that bankruptcy hit Jewelcor about 20 years ago. Not sure if the company came through it intact.”

Tim Harvey had a reaction to that! He says, “I worked at Jewelcor while going to college! The store was unique because when you found what you wanted to buy, you went to the back of the store and identified the wanted item by a special number. That number was then called out or sent to the “warehouse” area (in the rear of the store) and workers (my job) found the item stocked in the warehouse and brought it to the counter so you could buy it. I remember having to memorize all the product numbers so I could remember exactly where to go in order to find specific products. It was sort of fun at Christmastime. We competed against each other to see how fast we could get the products to the counter! I guess the money they saved by preventing shoplifting (by using that system) wasn’t enough to keep them in business!”

Jo was able to give me a frame of reference I recognized. She says, “It sounds like Jewelcor was similar to the Best Company and W. Bell Company that were in business in and around the 70s. All three operated similar in that their warehouses were clean, brightly lit, open showrooms for all the merchandise sold. I’m not familiar with Jewelcor, but Best & W. Bell’s catalog showrooms were pretty nice with the merchandise displayed out in the open to look at and check over. When a purchase was wanted buyers completed an order form with the item number and took it to a counter where payment was made. It was then brought out, as Tim describes above. Those two warehouses sold just about everything in household goods and what now would be considered woefully outdated electronics, and some specialty food items, especially around the holidays. I bought my large Kitchen Aid mixer at W. Bell in Falls Church, VA.”

That comment, by the way, brought Tim back into the conversation! He replied, “I remember BEST Products too! They actually had a store in York that was within a mile or two of Jewelcor (the BEST Products building is now the East York AAA building – on the southeast corner of Eastern Boulevard and Northern Way – in Springettsbury Township.) I can remember buying items there in the same way, now that you reminded me. And, as you noted, I remember they always seemed to have a lot of electronics for sale! Thanks for reminding me Jo!”

And thanks for reminding me, too; Best was one of my first topics on this blog, way back in 2007!

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