Jewelry retailer Finlay Enterprises Inc has filed for bankruptcy with plans to liquidate its assets. The company had two major operating segments: department store based fine jewelry departments in stores like Bloomingdale's and Macy's and stand-alone jewelry stores. The company filed for Chapter 11 and appointed Gordon Brothers
Retail Partners to act as the "stalking horse" bidder in the auction. The "stalking horse" bidder sets the lowest price
for the auction. The company estimated the value of its assets at between $500 million and $1 billion with liabilities in the same range and 10,000 and 25,000 creditors. The company has been struggling along with the rest of the jewelry industry lately. Finlay more than doubled its first-quarter loss to $28.7 million even though sales rose 12 percent to $159.3 million. Earlier this year the company tightened its belt by shutting down department store operations and closing nearly half its specialty stores. It currently has 182 locations, including 67 Bailey Banks & Biddle stores, 34 Carlyle stores, four Congress specialty jewelry stores and 77 licensed departments with The Bon Ton.
Finlay is no newcomer to the business. It began as a mail order house for fine jewelry in 1887
and the company has been running jewelry departments in department stores since the 1940s. The Bailey Banks & Biddle
which Finlay bought from Zales in 2007 is even older. Bailey Banks & Biddle began in 1832 in Philadelphia and has a long history of supplying some of America's greatest families. In 1904, created the updated and final version of the Great Seal of the United States.