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Wilkerson Names President

Richard Hayes has been with Wilkerson since 1986.

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(PRESS RELEASE) STUTTGART, AR – Wilkerson named Richard Hayes as its new president at its annual conference held Sept. 24-28. The Stuttgart, AR-based company is the nation’s largest national independent jewelry liquidator by volume. Hayes succeeds company founder Bobby Wilkerson, who will remain as the chairman of the board.

Hayes joined Wilkerson in 1986 and has worked in all facets of the business. That includes management, marketing, promotions, trade shows and financials. As president, he will oversee all of Wilkerson’s multiple divisions. In addition to the national jewelry sale event service, the company also has a retail division and merchandising division.

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The company employs more than 40 in-house employees and more than 65 consultants nationwide. It has overseen more than 6,000 successful jewelry store sales over the past 48 years.

Southern Jewelry News described Wilkerson as a company that provides a “graceful and profitable exit” for independent jewelry stores and family-owned businesses.

Hayes grew up in the Stuttgart, AR, area where his family owned several thriving restaurants and various other retail businesses. His successful work in the retail sector drew the attention of Bobby Wilkerson 32 years ago. Wilkerson recruited Hayes to work for his company.

Hayes attributes growing up in a family business – where he gained a strong work ethic in a team-driven environment – to his success. “That’s how I lead – as a team member,” he said. “I believe all employees have a place on the team and their contribution is important. That’s what makes this company so successful.”

Hayes looks forward to applying his years of experience in growing Wilkerson’s business even further.

Paying close attention to data to determine what’s driving trends in the retail industry is also something Hayes feels plays a big role in achieving success.

“The ability to analyze historical data and accurately predict sales with real-time information is key to this industry,” said Hayes.

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It was also a topic during the annual conference, where sales consultants from all over the country came to Stuttgart for advanced seminars on digital marketing, advertising, social media, public relations, sales performance, special events and industry updates.

Hayes, who is widely respected in the industry, is often quoted in jewelry industry publications. His advice is in highly sought by retailers, manufacturers and wholesalers.

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She Wanted to Spend More Time with Her Kids. She Called Wilkerson.

Your children are precious. More precious than gold? Absolutely! Just ask Lesley Ann Davis, owner of Lesley Ann Jewels, an independent jewelry store that — until the end of 2023 — had quite a following in Houston, Texas. To spend more time with her four sons, all in high school, she decided to close her store. Luckily, she was familiar with Wilkerson and called them as soon as she knew she wanted to move on to bigger, better and more family-focused things. Was she happy with her decision? Yes, she was. Says Davis, “Any owner looking to make that life change, looking to retire, looking to close, looking for a pause in their career, I would recommend Wilkerson. Hands down!”

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