GBC’s tradition dates back to 1903 when Gordon Brothers was founded. J.B. Gordon teamed up with his two older brothers and opened a jewelry store in New Haven, Connecticut. Unfortunately for the store, but fortunately for Gordon Brothers’ future, J.B. had the life altering experience of liquidating his store. The auctioneer who had been hired by J.B. failed to garner any sales and J.B. took over and orchestrated a very successful sell-off.
From that point forward, J.B. became a liquidator and Gordon Brothers became the oldest and largest buyer of jewelry stores in the country. They, of course, bought these stores as the first part of the liquidation process. Having both the need to feed inventory into the auctions and the opportunity to sell inventory in bulk to retail jewelers, a second business quickly developed. Gordon Brothers began buying closeout and surplus inventory from both closed jewelry stores and jewelry manufacturers and then selling it back into the market. By 1947, there were clearly two distinct entities: Gordon Brothers Partners focused on jewelry retail liquidation and Gordon Brothers Corporation concentrated on the wholesale business. From that day until today, we have been considered the largest buyer and wholesaler of fine jewelry surpluses and closeouts in the United States and, quite possibly, the world.
By the late 1980s, Gordon Brothers Partners began to diversify. That diversification increased significantly in the 1990s under the umbrella of Gordon Brothers Group, which led to it offering various services that include the management and financing of all categories of merchandise, appraisals, real estate, industrial assets and intangibles. It also provided an opportunity for Gordon Brothers Corporation (our wholesale business) to spin off to its senior management at the end of that decade. The name was streamlined to GBC, Inc. and the company’s ownership was transitioned to Richard Lawler, Greg Mazure and Robert Radest. Richard had been President of Gordon Brothers Corporation and has 20 years experience running what’s now GBC. His prior experience includes running a $100 million+ retail jewelry operation. Both Greg and Robert have spent their entire careers with the Company. Each of them has over 30 years experience and are widely regarded as diamond, gemstone and product acquisition experts.
The shift in ownership went virtually unnoticed due to both the consistency of the Company’s management and the unchanged focus of the business. The ethics and principles that guided our company throughout its 100+ year history have never wavered. The primary goal has always been to capitalize on opportunistic purchases which enable GBC to offer extraordinary values to its customers. This was the case one hundred years ago and continues to be the mission today.