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Conn's

Conn's, Inc.
Type Public
Traded as NASDAQ: CONN
Industry Retail
Founded 1890 as Eastham Plumbing and Heating Company
1934 as Conn's
Headquarters The Woodlands, Texas, U.S.
Number of locations 73
Key people Edward Eastham, Founder
Carol Washington Conn, Sr., Chain's namesake
Theodore M. Wright, CEO
Products Consumer electronics
Revenue Increase US$ 836.7 million (2010)
Operating income Increase US$ 27.4 million (2010)
Net income Increase US$ 7.7 million (2010)
Total assets Increase US$ 551.4 million (2010)
Total equity Increase US$ 344.3 million
(financials for fiscal 2010)[1] (2010)
Employees 2,800 (2010)
Website conns.com
Conn's Clearance Center in Houston, TX.

Conn's Inc. is an electronics and appliance store chain headquartered in The Woodlands, Texas, United States. The chain has stores in Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Arizona, and Oklahoma. Within Texas Conn's has stores in Greater Houston, the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, Greater San Antonio, Greater Corpus Christi, Southeast Texas, and South Texas.[2]

History

In 1890, Edward Eastham founded Eastham Plumbing and Heating Company in Beaumont, TX. First National Bank of Beaumont took over the company and renamed it Plumbing and Heating, Inc. in 1931. Plumbing and Heating, Inc. hired Carol Washington Conn, Sr. in 1933.[3] He purchased the company one year later and changed the name to Conn Plumbing and Heating Company.

In 1937, Conn's began selling refrigerators and soon added gas ranges to its inventory. By 1940, Conn had purchased a store building and moved the company to 268 Pearl Street in Beaumont. The company's second store opened in 1959 on Eleventh Street in Beaumont. C.W. Conn, Jr. joined the company in 1953 after serving in the Korean War. He recognized that customers needed dependable, quality service and founded Conn's retail service repair and maintenance subsidiary company, Appliance Parts and Service, in 1962. In 1964 he cofounded Conn Credit Corporation, a retail credit financing services company, to provide retail credit financing services to Conn's customers.

Conn, Jr. was named president and chief operating officer in 1966 and served in those capacities until 1976. The Year 1966 found the company with four stores and a total sales volume of $4 million. Lake Charles, Louisiana was the site of Conn's first out-of-state store opened in 1969. A second out-of-state store was opened in Louisiana that same year, making it a landmark year. In 1975, Conn's opened stores in Port Arthur, Orange and Baytown, Texas, as well as one in Lafayette, Louisiana. A second location in Lafayette and new stores in New Iberia and Opelousas, Louisiana soon followed. Conn, Sr. died in 1975 and Conn, Jr. became Chairman of the Board.

Under Conn, Jr.'s direction, Conn's first location in Houston was opened in 1983, with many others to follow in subsequent years. In 1993, Conn's experienced its first $100 million sales volume year and opened its first San Antonio, Texas location. Thomas Frank, Sr. became Chairman of the Board of Conn's in 1994. Under Frank's leadership, the company continued its growth trend and established itself as a major player in the retail sales industry as total sales volume grew to more than $200 million in 1997. In July, 1998, the company reorganized and brought in a new financial partner, The Stephens Group, Inc. Conn's market reach was broadened in 1999, when it opened its first store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and again in 2001, 2002 and 2003 when it opened its first stores in Austin, Corpus Christi, and in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex, respectively. In 2012, Conn's expanded into Arizona with the start of a location in Tucson, Arizona, later in July, they opened a location in Mesa, Arizona near US 60 and Stapley Drive and in August 2013, they opened 2 locations in Phoenix, Arizona at 75th Ave and Thomas Road across from Desert Sky Mall and Tempe, Arizona at Arizona Mills Mall. In November and December 2013, they added 3 new Arizona locations in the cities of Scottsdale, Goodyear and Yuma. In January 2014, the same day the 2nd Albuquerque, New Mexico location, they entered Chandler, Arizona. A 2nd Phoenix location near Metro Center opened in June 2014. A future Arizona location is scheduled in North Tucson at Marana Marketplace at Thornydale and Orange Grove Roads. In 2014, they welcomed new states as Colorado, Tennessee, South Carolina and Mississippi, it's soon in North Carolina and Georgia. The company now offers a full range of products and services at 67 retail locations; 57 in Texas, six in Louisiana, two in Oklahoma, and two in New Mexico currently with the opening of a second location in Albuquerque in January 2014.

By the 2000s the chain, historically based in Beaumont, expanded.[4]

Conn's, Inc. became a publicly traded company on November 25, 2003, when it sold 4.6 million shares in its initial public offering. The company's shares are traded on the NASDAQ Exchange under the symbol CONN. Today, in addition to appliances, electronics, furniture and mattresses, the company offers its customers service, distribution, financing, insurance and other related services.

News

On July 3, 2014, Conn's was featured in the New York Times in the biweekly column called The Haggler.[5] The article sparked a social media backlash, concentrated around the hashtag "#talktothehaggler". A follow up column, continuing the critique of the company's customer service was printed on July 19th.[6] On November 9, 2014, the Haggler column reported that Conn's did not return inquiries about its alleged practices of offering credit to high-risk customers, a lawsuit over which is currently underway."[1]."

Segal reported that, "bonuses for the company’s chief executive, Theodore M. Wright; its chief operating officer, Michael J. Poppe; and its chief financial officer, Brian E. Taylor — named defendants in the suit — were largely tied to the company’s operating income. [Wright's] maximum bonus of $850,000 would be achieved if Conn’s booked $165.8 million in operating income in 2014, according to the suit. The company came close, with $162 million. Mr. Wright took home a $820,000 bonus. The complaint also states that both he and Mr. Poppe also sold shares of Conn’s in 2013, the period when the plaintiffs maintain that those shares were “artificially inflated.” Mr. Wright had not sold any shares since 2007. In 2013, he sold enough to yield $1.9 million. Mr. Poppe cashed out $2.6 million the same year. So top executives at Conn’s made out quite nicely courtesy of the credit-for-all strategy, with big bonuses and marvelously timed stock sales. "[2]."

References

  1. ^ businessweek.com (2010-10-08). "CONN'S INC (CONN:NASDAQ GS)". Retrieved 2010-10-08. 
  2. ^ "Investor relations." Conn's Appliances. Retrieved on July 13, 2010.
  3. ^ conns.com. "About Conn's". Retrieved 2010-10-210. 
  4. ^ Wallach, Dan. "Conn's Appliances continues to grow." The Beaumont Enterprise. July 22, 2001. Retrieved on July 13, 2010.
  5. ^ Segal, David. "How to Pierce a Deafening Silence? Maybe an Army Can Help." The New York Times. July 3, 2014. Retrieved on July 19, 2014.
  6. ^ Segal, David. "Many Are Knocking, but the Door Stays Closed." The New York Times. July 19, 2014. Retrieved on July 19, 2014.

External links

  • Conn's
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