Lillys’ Jewelers closes doors

Lillys’ Jewelers, the largest independently owned retail jewelry chain in West Virginia, is closing. The company filed for bankruptcy in mid-April, with some $3.7 million in liabilities and several hundred creditors, according to court documents. It plans to liquidate its assets (worth about $4.6 million, say those documents), including inventory, corporate headquarters, and possibly some store sites.

Lillys’ has nine stores in West Virginia (four of them in the Charleston, W. Va. area) and one in Virginia.

It has asked the bankruptcy judge to allow Bobby Wilkerson Inc., a nationally known liquidator, to conduct a going-out-of-business sale of its assets, including inventory, starting May 1 and Aug. 1.

The company was founded by the late Lester E. Lilly in Logan, W.Va., in 1946 as Crown Jewelers. That was changed to Lillys’ Crown Jewelers Corp. in 1970, doing business as Lillys’ Jewelers. Lilly’s children are the company’s top executives – Thomas E. Lilly (chairman, chief executive officer), John L. Lilly, president, and Judy Lilly Harrah, executive vice president, secretary-treasurer. Its corporate headquarters are in Beckley, W. Va.