By Michelle Graff
Richard Hayes is the new president of Wilkerson. He succeeds company founder Bobby Wilkerson, who remains chairman of the board.
Stuttgart, Arkansas—Bobby Wilkerson is stepping down as president of the company he founded and will be replaced by a man whom he hired 32 years ago.

Stuttgart-based liquidation company Wilkerson officially announced Tuesday that Richard Hayes is its new president.

A native of Stuttgart, Hayes grew up working in his family’s restaurants and other retail businesses. Seeing his success in retail, Bobby Wilkerson recruited him to work for his jewelry liquidation company in 1986.

He has worked in all facets of the business, including management, marketing, promotions, trade shows and financials.

20181024 Bobby WilkersonBobby Wilkerson
As president, Hayes will oversee all of Wilkerson’s divisions, which include national jewelry sales event services, retail and merchandising.

Wilkerson will remain chairman of the board for the company he started in 1970.

In a press release announcing his appointment, Hayes attributed to his success to growing up in a family business, where he developed a strong work ethic and the ability to work as part of a team.

“That’s how I lead—as a team member. I believe all employees have a place on the team, and their contribution is important. That’s what makes the company so successful.”

Wilkerson has more than 40 in-house employees, 65 consultants nationwide and has overseen more than 6,000 jewelry store sales in the last 48 years. It said it is the largest independent national jewelry liquidator by volume.

The company named Hayes president at its conference in Stuttgart in September, an annual event that brings together its sales consultants from all over the country for seminars on topics including digital marketing, social media, sales performance and industry updates.

Get the Daily News >
National Jeweler

Fine Jewelry Industry News

Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.