A legacy wedding retailer is closing its doors. Michael C. Fina, a family-owned business located in New York’s City, has decided to shutter its operation after nearly 85 years of storied history in the wedding industry. The announcement was formally made Friday, April 5, with longtime clients and other professionals receiving alerts of the closing.
“With today’s ever-changing retail environment, our family has come to the difficult decision to close our online doors,” the family tells The Knot in an exclusive statement. “Beginning as a brick-and-mortar shop in 1935, the competitive market eventually led us to a fully digital business in 2016, but we soon found that the online model does not align with our company’s heritage. For three generations our family has fostered the emotional aspect of the in-store experience, made all the more important when shopping for significant life events, often alongside loved ones. We have been unable to replicate that same experience online as today’s consumer continues to shift to a virtual marketplace. Our decision comes with a heavy heart, but with wonderful memories.”
The retailer, along with its collection of engagement rings and wedding bands, was also well known for its fine goods (think: upscale flatware, beautiful china and crystal). The transition allowed the Park Avenue jeweler to become a registry haven for celebrities and heads of state alike.
Along with its official statement to The Knot, the family posted a letter to its website explaining the rather heavy decision. Longtime clients also received emails about the closing early Friday morning. Read it in full below.
After nearly 85 years, our family has made the difficult decision to close our online doors. As we wind down over the coming weeks, we intend to fulfill open orders but will no longer be taking new orders. We are grateful to you, our loyal customers and all those we have done business with over the years, for your unwavering support and commitment and will forever consider you part of the Michael C. Fina family.
In 1935, our grandfather, Michael Charles Fina, asked our grandmother, his future wife, Rose Rosenblatt for a $500 loan to start his own business. She countered with an offer he couldn’t refuse. “I will invest in your idea, but I want to be your partner.” A negotiation that landed him more than just a partner in business – but a partner in life.
Soon after, they opened Michael C. Fina, a wholesale silver showroom on 47th Street in Manhattan. Six years after that, they were married – an unlikely yet perfect pairing; our Italian Catholic grandfather from Brooklyn and our grandmother, a Polish Jewish girl from Queens. In a few short years, our grandparents grew a successful business and had two children- George and Charles. Our grandmother still managed to be active in the local PTA as well as treasurer of the synagogue. By the 1950s, they opened their first retail location at 580 Fifth Avenue, which they soon outgrew. The brand quickly became synonymous with luxury home goods and served New York’s elite including Frank Sinatra, Estée Lauder and Thomas Watson Jr. Michael C. Fina even provided the silver for the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy.
As time passed, George and Charles became integral to the business, working alongside their parents every day to learn the ins and outs of retail. The retail business continued to flourish with the help of the family’s third generation, and Michael C. Fina became the ultimate destination for brides – servicing thousands of brides a year, and eventually becoming the first retailer to offer online wedding registries in 1999. Much like those of our customers’, our milestones were endless.
Today, as we reflect back on our legacy, we are honored to have been able to fulfill our grandparents’ mission: to help make our customers’ most important milestones unforgettable.
As a family, we have always wanted to do the right thing by our customers and vendors while providing that signature Michael C. Fina experience. We have found that the emotional aspect of the Michael C. Fina in-store experience — made all the more special when shopping for significant life events, often alongside loved ones — was not something we were able to replicate online. As today’s consumer continues to shift to a virtual marketplace, we explored all our options to determine the best way to proceed and it is with heavy hearts that we have decided to close. We are eternally grateful to all of you who have been part of the Michael C. Fina brand. We want to thank you for sharing your weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, and all of the other happy occasions in your lives. It has been our privilege to serve you.
We know customers may have other questions, so starting today, you can see our FAQs at https://www.michaelcfina.com/ for all information on existing orders as well as outstanding store credits.
We wish all of you well, as you continue to celebrate new beginnings and milestones throughout your lives.
The Fina Family
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