WICHITA — Willi Richert, executor of Jim Pracht III’s estate, said in April that he’d let us know the fate of the late businessman’s L.J. Pracht Co.
“I did promise I’d let you know good or bad, and unfortunately it’s bad,” he says.
The business, a one-of-a-kind wrapping store that also sells jewelry making supplies at 1500 E. Douglas, is closed and isn’t reopening except for a going-out-of-business sale.
“We did try,” Richert says of selling it.
“We had a couple of people interested in it, but it just fell through,” he says. “I would have liked to have seen it continue.”
Pracht’s grandfather opened the store, one of Wichita’s oldest, on Main Street in 1923.
“It’s been an integral part of the city for a lot of years – almost 100 – and you hate to see a business like that close down,” Richert said in April. “It’s a unique store that reflects a different time, but it’s still a necessary product that they sell.”
Through the years, Richert said the store had a huge inventory and served a multitude of customers.
“You name it, if it was associated with the jewelry business,” he said this spring.
The store also used to carry clock parts.
“Amazingly, they served pretty much regionally.”
If sales were slow, Richert said Jim Pracht’s father, Louie, would go to the local aircraft manufacturers to sell his jewelry tools, since they were often the same tools the manufacturers needed.
“They were good people,” Richert previously said of the Prachts.
The store’s sale, which will include supplies and fixtures, starts Sept. 2 and ends Sept. 12.
“That’ll be the end of it,” Richert says.
Though he hoped the store would stay open, Richert says he wants to “thank Wichita for supporting this family for three generations.”