Pohlads to Sell JB Hudson Jewelers to Iowa Jewelry Company
Caitlin Abrams

Pohlads to Sell JB Hudson Jewelers to Iowa Jewelry Company

In a deal announced Monday, the Pohlad Cos. will sell JB Hudson to Sioux City, Iowa-based Gunderson’s Jewelers.
Caitlin Abrams

The Pohlad Cos. on Monday announced plans to sell JB Hudson Jewelers to Sioux City, Iowa-based Gunderson’s Jewelers.

In a news release, the Pohlad Cos. said the sale is slated to close on March 31. No other financial details were disclosed.

The Pohlads first purchased a majority stake in JB Hudson in 2007. A decade later, Pohlad Cos. became the sole owner of the storied jewelry retailer.

“Following this sale, Gunderson’s will build on JB Hudson’s strong legacy,” said Ben Hawn, chief of staff for the Pohlad Cos. “Customers in this market will continue to enjoy exceptional workmanship in jewelry manufacturing and repair and will benefit from an expanded assortment of fine gifts, jewelry and watch brands.”

The Pohlad Cos. has been offloading some of its assets within recent months. In December, the company announced plans to sell radio stations Go 95.3 and 96.3, which the Pohlads originally purchased for about $36 million. The stations were sold to a Christian broadcaster for just $2.45 million, according to radio industry publication Radio Insight.

One of the Twin Cities’ oldest enduring retailers, JB Hudson dates back to 1885 when Josiah B. Hudson first opened a shop at 230 Nicollet in Minneapolis. When a fire destroyed the store, JB Hudson moved to Seventh Street and was there until the Dayton Company acquired the jewelry shop in 1929. For the next several decades, JB Hudson held a prominent first floor corner of the department store on Nicollet Mall, where it remained until moving two blocks down, to the historic Young Quinlan Building at 9th and Nicollet.

A fixture on Nicollet Mall, JB Hudson dabbled in suburban retail for a time with a store at Ridgedale Center in Minnetonka. In 2018, in a sign of shifting downtown shopping preferences, JB Hudson opened a satellite shop that still operates today within MartinPatrick 3 in the heart of the North Loop. “There’s a lot of trust in JB Hudson,” MartinPatrick 3 co-founder and co-owner Greg Walsh said at the time. “We love the history of it—the iconic aspect of it for the Twin Cities market.”

MartinPatrick 3 CEO Dana Swindler said Monday that he doesn’t anticipate any major changes. He expects the satellite shop, called The Loupe, to continue operating “as it does today, independent of JB Hudson.”

This won’t be the first time ownership of the fine jeweler has been outside Minnesota: In 1982 Henry Birks and Sons of Montreal, Canada bought the brand, but it struggled, and James R. Cargill purchased it out of bankruptcy in 1992.

A supporter of downtown retail and local causes, JB Hudson’s dramatic two-level corner storefront has hosted many fundraisers and fashion events.