FARGO - The owners of Wimmer’s Diamonds, a family-owned businesses that started 102 years ago in Fargo's downtown, have decided to consolidate their operations in a new store going up just west of the intersection of 45th Street and 32nd Avenue South.
The high profile locations at Main and Broadway downtown, and on the main court in the West Acres Shopping Center, will close once the new store is opened in the Blu Water Creek shopping area, co-owner Brad Wimmer said Tuesday, March 9.
Wimmers started the first of its downtown shops in 1919, and added the West Acres location in 1985, about 13 years after the mall first opened.
Wimmer said the goal is to have the new store at 4582 32nd Ave. S. open by Sept. 1. He said that he and his son, co-owner Aaron Wimmer, didn't know what they'd do for certain until the last couple weeks..
“We kind of made the final decision that instead of prolonging and keeping one or both open, we decided to close the two and open the one,” Wimmer said.
Wimmer said the closures would happen in late summer or fall.
“We hope to be open by Sept. 1 in the new store,” he said.
“We’re a 102-year-old business. We’ve been downtown since 1919. We lamented over that move, for sure,” Wimmer said.
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Hungarian-born immigrant and craftsman Fred Wimmer in 1919 started a wholesale business called Fargo Jewelry Manufacturing and later added the retail store Wimmer's Jewelry. The business was in a couple of locations downtown, Brad Wimmer said, before moving in 1985 to its current location on the high-traffic intersection of Main Avenue and Broadway.
“I've been there most of my career,” Wimmer said. “Aaron only knows the corner store and West Acres.”
Brad Wimmer and his brother Randy were in charge of the company in 1985, when they purchased Keepsake Diamond Center in West Acres. It became a Wimmer's Jewelry shop (now Wimmer's Diamonds). "So we’ve been out there for darn near 40 years, which is a long time also,” Wimmer said.
The West Acres lease is up at the end of June, but Wimmer said negotiations are ongoing to keep the store open until Sept. 1.
“We had a good run out there and enjoyed it,” Wimmer said.
However, they are excited about the possibilities for the store under construction.
“It’s a hot retail area,” he said, adjacent to The Tavern Grill and other shops and businesses quickly going up there.
The new store will take up two-thirds of the building facing 32nd Avenue. The southern third of the building will be leased, Wimmer said in a previous interview.
The Wimmers earlier sold the downtown store building and are leasing space from the owners.
The new location is not without competition nearby. A Cutting Edge Gallery of Jewelry is perhaps a block or two away at 4507 33rd Ave S. Schmidt’s Gems & Fine Jewelry is at 3241 42nd St S, Fargo. Crown Jewels is at 4487 Calico Drive S. And the relative newcomer to the area, Gunderson’s Jewelry, is just off Veterans Boulevard at 5601 28th Ave. S.
Wimmer said in an earlier interview with The Forum that he believes the area from Veterans Boulevard to 45th Street and 32nd Avenue South is becoming the Fargo-Moorhead metro area’s next retail hub.
“We’ve always tried to pick a prime area. …. We’ve tried to pick retail hubs, and it seems to have worked for us,” over the last 100 years, Wimmer said. “We think that will be the premiere retail location in North Dakota.”
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