Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Cash for Gold store planning to open in Bristol

Perhaps you have heard the rumors. Now we know its for real.
Another Formula Business is set to open in Bristol. Bristol already has 3 Real Estate companies and 1 investment company that have come in since the 2004 FB ordinance was created. (Dunkin Donuts came in before the ordinance was created.) The latest one plans to open in the old 'Novel Idea' bookstore space at 450 Hope Street. The business is called Countrywide Gold Buyers LLC (CGB) and the owner makes it clear that he is not a traditional pawn shop. He swaps cash for gold, platinum, silver and silverware and sells nothing. CGB has more than 6 identical businesses in RI and in Miami FLA. The businesses are not franchises and are privately held by the owner. Although he wanted to open in Barrington, he is planning a similar shop in Warren.

You are probably wondering what happen to Bristol's Formula Business ordinance within the downtown Historic District.
It still is in effect. It was never created to totally ban chain stores from Bristol which would be unconstitutional. What it does is place specific restrictions and regulations on what formula businesses can and cannot do - such as not exceeding 2500SF in gross floor area (450 Hope Street is 1450'SF) or not exceeding 65' of street frontage and not having drive up windows to name a few. It must "complement those businesses already in the historic zone and help promote and foster the local economic base as a whole." (This might be debatable since there are already two stores in the historic district that buy gold for cash. Coggeshall and A Jour Jewelers.)
The owner, Mr. Luis Junco, an ex- US Marine Sergeant currently lives in Warwick, RI. The store will have some comfy furniture. He plans to encourage friendly gatherings not unlike TupperWare parties where groups of friends come together to sell their wares in a "Gold Party" and designate a portion of the proceeds to go to a church or a non-profit. He also added the word "Gallery" to his name (Countrywide Gold Buyers and Gallery) because he plans to sell and display art to beautify the place - some made into sculptures created from recycled car parts! In his application to the Zoning Board he states: "Countrywide Gold Buyers LLC is a privately held Green company that engages in the purchase and re-sale of broken, used and outdated, gold, silver and platinum. We also make and sell metal art work out of scrap "recycle" parts." He later states: "CGB is committed to serve the communities where we do business, not only by paying the highest and most competitive prices in the industry but also by educating our customers about the detrimental effects that gold mining has on our environment." Other than an interior paint job, adding some display cases and changing the carpet to a wood floor, his renovations will be minor.
His next step is to go before the HDC on Thursday, March 3 to get a "Certificate of Appropriateness" and then before the Zoning Board on Monday, March 7. His business plan went before the Planning Board last night (the only item on the agenda other than a DEM Stormwater presentation) and gained a recommendation to move forward to formally apply to Zoning. It passed with a 4-1 vote. Please plan on attending these meetings if you have comments. If there are any changes I will update you.

Question: Is a full store better than an empty one?
Is the flip side of this BUYING LOCAL? Recently I have heard that three more stores are closing in the downtown. Studio Six, Time and Thyme Again and Organically Good. Please post your comments. They are welcome.

Blogger Correction: I posted a comment on Patch about formula business restrictions. I apparently mis-spoke when noting that the number of stores was a violation of the Bristol Formula Business ordinance. The number of identical stores (six or more) only defines them as a formula business which then requires them to go before the 2 boards sited above to get special permits. It does not prevent them from coming into Bristol as a formula business. LG


Anonymous said...

Has it come to this?

lg said...

Sue Woodman, the proprietor of a 'Novel Idea' bookstore writes the following:
"You go girl. Can you please add that I didn't close and moved over to 54 State Street. Thanks for all you're doing. Sue"
(54 State Street is the little brick building and former location of the dog store!)

Anonymous said...

Yes it has come to this. While a few people are committed to shopping locally and understand that it benefits the entire community not just the business owner, most people are not educated regarding the true financial implications. They continue to think that shopping in Seekonk saves them money and the majority of locals don't shop downtown. They think that the stores are not affordable without having even set foot in them. The tough economy along with the expanding online purchasing has taken its toll on the businesses in this town. I predict more will close and you will see more "stores" like "Cash for Gold" vying for those empty spaces along with the service industry (insurance, real estate, and financial advisors) that are now so predominate on Hope St where retail shops and restaurants used to be.

Anonymous said...


lg said...

Regarding downtown business. I think a gold-buying outfit in the center of Bristol says that our people and therefore our town is "down on its luck", so to speak. It is a pawn shop, really. You can try to doll it up with lipstick, but it remains a pig! An empty store is better than a cash-for-gold location. What's next, a PayDay Loan storefront, a tatoo parlor?

Speaking of losing stores, I, like most folks, expect CVS to pull out of the Campagna location no later than when the 5-year lease expires. I believe they only bought Campagna's to get all their prescription customers and will soon force them to use a Metacom location, perhaps a new megastore. Bill McCarthy told me of a time when Bristol had perhaps 10 drugstores in the city center. When CVS pulls out, we will have none.
Gary Watros

Anonymous said...

I keep wondering who the hell has all the extra gold? Not me.

MrsB said...

Stores opening on Sunday must pay a special fee for the privilege to the town of Bristol. This also might have something to do with stores closing. Stop blaming the citizens.

Anonymous said...

All of the closed locations show what a bunch of fool's running the town. They are forceing the devloper of Magic Carpet building to have a set amount of retial space! For what? Most of the ones in town were just making it before times got tough, now the droping like flies. Funny to even call this a store if was not selling the art he would just be a buyer and could fight all this local crap you bring up. It is jsut Bristol, not some major tourist meca. Downtown people get over yourselves. You are why I go out of town to shop.

Anonymous said...

I don't think we need a cash for gold ANYWHERE. I see that business in a very low light. Lets call it a pawn shop. Doesn't belong in the center of any beautiful town like Bristol.
comment from Doc Breslin

Cash for Silver said...


Conducting business in the cash-for-gold industry is a challenge for the new jewelry company owners, without experience you cannot handle it properly. The future of it is very bright no doubt. Thanks a lot.

cash for silver said...

Get cash for gold that you would want to have out of your scrap or unused gold jewelries.

Mike Bishop7 said...

This is really good for Bristol! I was really hurting for cash recently so a friend told me I should sell gold jewelry for cash, it was the best decision I made! Very quick and easy, thanks for sharing this news with us!