Business Columns & Blogs

Bits of business: Fast-Fix looking for the right fit in Nittany Mall

Fast-Fix, pictured in Eastview Mall in New York, may become a fixture in Nittany Mall.
Fast-Fix, pictured in Eastview Mall in New York, may become a fixture in Nittany Mall. Photo provided

Malls have long been a staple in Fast-Fix Jewelry and Watch Repairs’ business model.

The company first made its mark in Ross Park Mall in Pittsburgh about 30 years ago.

If you ask Gerry Weber, the company’s CEO, they want to go back to their roots in State College. They just hope they find the right person to open shop in the mall.

“We think it’s a great mall, and we do best in malls,” Weber said. “It’s a destination. We do watches, cellphones and jewelry and a lot of other services like engraving and re-purposing jewelry. Most shops when they drop it off it’s going to take a while. When people come to us, it is done while people wait and maybe shop in another store or two. If it’s complicated or need parts, you might have to wait until a day or two later.”

The international company, which has about 160 stores, is looking for someone who “wants to be in business for themselves but not by themselves.”

The company looks for entrepreneurs with at least $250,000 net worth.

It could take the right person 120 to 150 days to open a store after showing interest. The shops are sometimes run at kiosks or in storefronts up to 1,000 square feet.

Whistle while you work

Sheetz was named one of the 2016 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For, according to global research and consulting firm Great Place to Work and Fortune Magazine.

This list, now in its 19th year, placed Sheetz at No. 97.

Applicant companies opt to participate in the selection process, which includes an employee survey and a questionnaire about programs and practices. Great Place to Work evaluates each application based on five dimensions: credibility, respect, fairness, pride and camaraderie.

“At Sheetz we have a commitment to investing in our people and we strive to achieve this by creating a great environment whether they work at the stores, the office, or in the distribution centers,” Sheetz CEO Joe Sheetz said.

The company has about 520 stores and expects to operate 600 in 2018.

Follow your prescriptions

A Geisinger study published in The American Journal of Managed Care claimed that instituting a zero prescription copay for its chronically ill employee population resulted in a positive cost saving and return on investment.

The company said the United States wastes more than $400 billion annually to treat medical complications that were avoidable if patients adhered to prescribed medications.

“Recent studies suggest that even low, out-of-pocket costs can be a significant source of patient non-adherence with drug therapies that effectively prevent exacerbations and thus, there’s an increase in the utilization of high-cost care,” Daniel D. Maeng, the lead author of the study, said.

Shawn Annarelli: 814-235-3928, @Shawn_Annarelli