GODFREY - After 165 years in business, Goulding's Jewelry Store is preparing to shut its doors.

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Owner David Oberlink inherited the business from his father, who purchased it from the Goulding Family after retiring from the company himself. Oberlink, who recently turned 70, has been running the jewelry store, located at 219 E Center Drive across from the Alton Square Mall, for 41 years. Lately, Oberlink decided it would be in his best interest to retire, but he does not have a buyer for the historic business.

"We don't have a buyer," Oberlink said. "In this economy, no one has been able to come through yet."

There may still be some time before Oberlink closes the doors for good, however. As of now, he is working on selling all the current inventory. Items are available from 20-70 percent lower than their original sale values. Within the first two weeks of announcing the closure, Oberlink said as much as a third of the inventory was already sold.

"I want to tell people to not wait around," he said. "The more time passes, the better the markdowns, but also the less selection we'll have available."

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The longer an item has been in inventory, the greater the markdown, Oberlink added.

Tremendous discounts and the coming Holiday Season are not the only forces driving people to Goulding's at this time, however, Oberlink said. Many people are coming simply to express both their gratitude for years of service and condolences for the closure.

"Lots of people are coming in to say 'thank you' and telling us they'll miss us," Oberlink said. "There are a lot of hugs."

When asked when the store will finally shut its doors, Oberlink said that day will be determined when the last of the inventory has been sold. He said it may occur before Christmas with the pre-holiday, going-out-of-business sale rush, or it may be after the first days of 2018.

After the last pieces are sold, Oberlink said he is going to take some well-deserved months away from working before deciding what to do with the next chapter of his life.

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