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In addition to our normal news coverage, What Now Atlanta (WNA) is tracking ways Atlanta’s businesses are adapting to the novel coronavirus and the challenges it brings to brick-and-mortars.
Gift and jewelry retailer Charles Willis has closed its doors after more than 60 years in business citing financial hardship brought on by the novel coronavirus.
“We are saddened to let you know that after 60 years we have found it necessary to close Charles Willis,” the company wrote in a letter to its bridal clients this week.
“Due to the COVID-19 interruption and the uncertainty of many of our suppliers to deliver in a timely manner, if at all, we are unable to sustain our business.”
The company’s social media has since been deleted and calls to Charles Willis Thursday went unanswered.
Worden Willis, the child of Founder Charles Willis, posted this statement Thursday on Facebook regarding the closure:
To: Everyone Who Loved Charles Willis Inc. in Atlanta
I am so very touched to feel everyone’s sympathy here and my Father Charles and Uncle Walter would be as well. After Charles passed away the shop was sold and it has been run so beautifully ever since. He had a good run of it. My Father, Charles Willis, started the business originally on Baltimore block in Atlanta (or so I have been told) in the 1940s and it has made it into 2020! I am So proud of the staff throughout those years for making that happen and so thankful to all who have shopped there over the years. I send my love to everyone who has been associated with~ Charles Willis, Inc.
With much love, Worden
Charles Willis—which might have been around even longer than 60 years (the “About Us” page on its website states the company was founded in 1948)—joins other landmark retailers in closing with attribution to COVID-19 including nearby Jeffrey.
[Editor’s note: The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is rapidly evolving as is its effect on Atlanta, and the City’s businesses and its residents. Click here for WNA’s ongoing coverage of the crisis. For guidance and updates on the pandemic, please visit the C.D.C. website.]