Beleaguered jewelry retailer Finlay Enterprises has decided to close all its specialty stores, including Bailey Banks & Biddle, Carlyle & Co. and other outlets. Finlay, which has endured a restructuring and a bankruptcy filing this year, will apparently be out of the retail jewelry business after store-closing sales are complete.
Recently in jewelry Category
- In Ogdensburg, N.Y., 99-year-old Hulett & Sons Jewelers is closing up shop. The jeweler, which is part of the larger Hacketts store, is selling its inventory to help Hacketts stay afloat. Hulett & Sons first opened in town in 1910.
- Alma, Michigan's Miller's men's shop is folding after 47 years in business. Owner Duane Stacey blames clothing trends and shifting shopping habits as driving forces of the closure.
- And legendary Memphis music store Pop Tunes closed both locations this month. Pop Tunes dates to 1946 and was not shy to discuss its demise, noting the "rampant illegal downloading ... low margins, big box retailers" and other factors as factors in the closings.
Finlay Enterprises, the jeweler retailer behind such brands as Bailey Banks & Biddle and Carlyle, filed for bankruptcy protection. The company plans on selling its assets at auction, bringing an end to its current composition. Finlay, which dates to 1887, still has nearly 200 locations including department store installations.
Finlay announced a series of store closings in February, which proved to be insufficient in narrowing the company's losses.
In related news, Zale closed 118 locations in the past fiscal quarter, bringing its total closings to 191 this year as it tries to preserve its own profitability.
Two celebrity-focused jewelers fell victim to the recession this month.
First, Michael Beaudry, who is known for manufacturing and supplying jewelry to Hollywood stars, filed for bankruptcy June 4. Sister company Centerstone Diamonds filed for Chapter 11 on the same day. No information is available about the company's future plans.
Yesterday, Harry Dunay also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, citing economic conditions. The business, which dates to 1965, sells its jewelry at high-end stores like Neiman Marcus as well as direct to celebrities. Harry Dunay plans on reorganizing the business and continuing operations.
Luxury jewelry maker Doris Panos filed for bankruptcy under credit pressure. The company, which has been in business since 1993, creates high-end merchandise often sported by celebrities and profiled in fashion magazines. Doris Panos is sold at Neiman Marcus and other specialty outlets.
Ultra Diamonds' parent company Ultra Stores filed for bankruptcy protection due to the now-expected liquidity and economic concerns. The company has defaulted on some loans but stated it had financing to temporarily continue operations. Cost-cutting maneuvers have been underway since the 2007 holiday season, long before the economic crisis hit.
Ultra Diamonds runs the jewelry counters at such stores as Filene's Basement and Burlington Coat Factory and has 181 locations.
- In Indiana, Chronister Pharmacy is losing its last outlet. This location has been active for 58 years, and has gone from being a family-run business to a division of Kroger. Customers are being directed to Walgreen's.
- Bromberg & Co., a 110-year-old jeweler in Birmingham, Alabama, has closed its 46-year-old retail store in reaction to the economy.
- Midwestern men's retailer Al Baskin has filed for bankruptcy and closed its Mark Shale store. It is keeping three Chicago stores open and closing all of its out-of-state locations in April.
Famed luxury goods purveyor Tiffany might look immune to the recession but actually they are in a world of trouble. "Net income fell to $31.1 million, or 25 cents per share, down from $127.4 million," for one thing; these costs are associated with store closing and with layoffs. So what's Tiffany's solution? More layoffs! "Tiffany plans to offer early retirement packages to 800 of its employees in the U.S., and cut 10% of its staff worldwide." Great plan.
The economic downturn is hitting local stores especially hard. Saddest among those affected are the decades-old establishments suddenly facing bankruptcy or liquidation. Recent news affects regional chains with long histories:
- Cincinnati: luggage store Bankhardt's is closing. The store is 130 years old and has inhabited the same location since 1935. The business owner sold the building and is moving on. Interestingly, three splinter stores with the same name will continue to operate.
- The 16-store jewelry chain Robbins Brothers filed for bankruptcy after struggling during the recession. Robbins Bros' history dates to the 1920s, in Seattle, before moving to California and ultimately expanding to four states.
- In the Pacific Northwest, Joe's Sports and Outdoor is operating during a restructuring. The 30-store chain is owned by a private equity firm that filed as a strategic move. Joe's first opened in 1952 as a military surplus store.
Multi-brand jeweler Finlay Enterprises is closing 40 stores and exiting its department store businesses to focus on profitable locations. The move affects a wide array of department stores including Bloomingdale's, Macy's, Lord & Taylor, and Dillard's.
Finlay owns specialty jewelry stores Bailey Banks & Biddle, Carlyle & Co. and others. The company did not announce which of these would be affected by the 40 closings.
Bankrupt retailer Fortunoff is giving up on an acquisition and beginning liquidation sales today. Liquidators announced the sales would be business as usual and that they would honor outstanding gift cards. Fortunoff closed its flagship store at the start of February and entered into bankruptcy a few days later.
Fortunoff is an interesting bankrupty because of the fond memories people have of its family-owned roots. While its failure is a private-equity and debt-load story, many people remember it as the longtime regional retailer with family roots, making its closure a bit more poignant than other large stores.
The economic downturn is hitting local stores especially hard. Saddest among those affected are the decades-old establishments, many involved in housing and home goods, suddenly facing bankruptcy or liquidation.
Some recent changes of note:
- In Canton, Ohio, 85-year-old Art's Diamond Jewelers closed on Valentine's Day. Art's had 10 locations not long ago but the slowly declining business reached an end in the recession.
- Dearborn, Mich.: local booster Adray Appliance is closing after more than 50 years as a local presence. The owners are mulling options, including reopening in a smaller space, and refuse to call this "going out of business."
- Worcester, Mass. is saying farewell to 136-year-old M. Steinert and Sons. The piano dealer has two other locations in Massachusetts.
- And in Port Washington, N.Y., on the north shore of Long Island, the historic Knickerbocker Yacht Club has closed and put itself up for sale. Declining membership has hurt the club, which has a strong reputation in the sailing community.