Sparkle and Shine
REEDS Jewelers celebrates 70 years
By CAROLINE GOBBLE » Photos by JENNIFER SIMPSON
2016 is a special year for Wilmington-based REEDS Jewelers as they celebrate their 70th anniversary. Founded in 1946 by Bill and Roberta Zimmer, REEDS is a true American success story, having grown from one hometown store to a full-service multi-channel jewelry retailer, with retail stores in 13 states, and a leading e-commerce website, REEDS.com. Still a proud family-run business, REEDS strives to make every customer "feel like family", with personalized service, attention to detail, and lasting quality and style.
REEDS founder Bill Zimmer was just a kid when he learned how to sell diamonds. His family operated retail jewelry stores, and as he learned the business from his brothers, so later would his children learn from him. In 1946, Bill and his wife, Roberta, bought a small, downtown jewelry store for sale in Wilmington, and changed the name to REEDS Jewelers. Later, the Zimmers opened a store in Whiteville, Jacksonville, and other cities in the Carolinas. By 1979, Zimmer controlled two dozen retail outlets. He and his wife ran the downtown Wilmington store. While they built their business, they also built a family. All four children worked in the family business while growing up.
Alan Zimmer joined REEDS as executive vice president in 1981 and took charge of merchandising. He officially became president and CEO in 1985. As soon as he arrived at REEDS, Alan began instituting major changes to help modernize the growing company. Today, REEDS Jewelers maintains the comfortable atmosphere of a family-run business, even with retail stores in 13 states.
"The most important thing I've learned is that you never argue with a customer. You've just got to do right by people," was Bill’s philosophy that embodied his treatment of employees, vendors and customers alike, stating that his priorities were to "treat all my people like I'd want to be treated, I respect them and I let them know they were loved and appreciated." This philosophy has been carried on by the new generation, earning REEDS loyal customers, vendors and employees.
All REEDS items come with the exquisite service and quality upon which they have built their reputation since 1946. Longtime REEDS customers remember Bill standing every day at his store, greeting customers with a smile and remembering every name of any customer he had ever met, and going the extra mile to make every visit and every purchase one that was pleasant and enjoyable. Bill's motto was "The harder you work, the luckier you become." To that end, REEDS was one of the first jewelers to provide late night hours to give customers greater shopping convenience. Bill's spirit stays with REEDS today, with every employee working hard to exceed customers' expectations and make retail experiences exceptional in every way.
Since its inception, they have been known for exceptional lines of fine jewelry, collectibles, customized and family jewelry, and watches. They offer a broad selection of diamond, precious and semiprecious gemstones, pearls, gold, sterling silver, titanium and platinum jewelry, charms, collectibles and gifts for every occasion and interest for women, men, teens and even children.
They also offer many exclusive lines of high-end jewelry available in their jewelry collections and designer jewelry sections including REEDS Exclusive Gemstone and Diamond Jewelry. In addition to the many fine brands they carry online such as SLANE, Mikimoto, John Hardy, Scott Kay, Swarovski, and others, they are also an authorized distributor in select store locations for many leading designer brands, including David Yurman, Tag Heuer and Omega.
The passion for beautiful jewelry and exquisite service runs deep at REEDS, from buyers who scour the world to find just the right merchandise to delight customers, to finance personnel going the extra mile to ensure a refund is processed promptly, to a sales team whose vast knowledge of both products and people can help guide customers through the most difficult of purchasing decisions, from engagement rings to that perfect Father's Day present. 910-799-6810, reeds.com