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Kinley Jewelers prevails through 7 decades of change

With 70 years of sales and service in Williamsport, E.R. Kinley and Sons jewelry store has seen the business landscape change and change again.

The business, which Elmer Kinley started in 1948 in Newberry before moving downtown to the corner of Fourth and Laurel streets in 1972, has seen the downtown retail hub gradually lose ground to malls before the decline in malls led to a resurgence of downtown as not only a retail destination but a social scene with nightclubs and restaurants.

The Kinleys noted the walkability of downtown – a particular advantage for older residents – and variety of businesses and amenities like the River Walk and First Friday and similar events “bring people together” and are helping the downtown business climate improve.

“The last couple years have been some of our best,” Jared Kinley, a grandson of Elmer who runs the business with his father and uncle, said.

Customers tell the Kinleys they want to support small independent businesses. E.R. Kinley and Sons also see a lot of repeat customers who come back for the store’s repair services, including clock and watch repairs.The Kinleys said they can focus on customer service to a degree other places can’t.

“That’s what continues to bring customers back,” Jared said.

Another aspect that attracts customers is the diversity of styles the business offers.

“A lot of places are more specialized than we are,” Jared said. “We have an inventory we’ve built over 70 years.”

While some customers’ tastes are eclectic, there still are fashions the jewelers can depend on.

“The classics never go out of style,” Jared said. “It’s what you see in the movies, on the celebrities, everywhere.”

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