Conn's home furnishing store to open in Tulsa this spring
BY KYLE ARNOLD World Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
2/27/13 at 8:25 AM
Furniture and electronics retailer Conn's will open its first store in the Tulsa market this spring.
The Woodlands, Texas-based retailer is leasing a 48,000-square-foot space at 10143 E. 71st St. formerly occupied by Sports Authority and sandwiched between competitors Best Buy Co. and a J.C. Penney Home Store.
Conn's Inc., which recently shifted focus from appliances and electronics to furniture, operates two stores in the Oklahoma City market.
Conn's specializes in offering financing on its selection of furniture, appliances and electronics to people who can't afford traditional credit options, said Mike Poppe, chief operating officer.
"Our big differentiation is our ability to offer credit to people with less access to credit," he said. "We allow them to buy brand-name products for homes at an affordable monthly payment."
The new store will be a "Conn's Home Plus" location, marking the changing strategy for a retailer that until recently primarily sold appliances and electronics.
Starting last year, Conn's shifted to the more profitable furniture industry after growing competition for consumer electronics rapidly shrank profit margins for items such as big-screen televisions.
Poppe said the stores will sell appliances, furniture and mattresses in addition to its electronics selection.
Seasonally, it also will sell items such as lawnmower tractors, patio furniture, and other indoor and outdoor decorations.
But a big focus of the company is still offering monthly payments on big-ticket home items, Poppe said.
Conn's has 66 stores, mainly in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma, and single stores in New Mexico and Arizona, according to the company's website.
The company was founded in 1890 but grew into its current form when it started selling refrigerators in 1937 at a location in Beaumont, Texas.
Conn's moved into the credit part of the business in the 1960s.
The company has been publicly traded since 2003.
About 40,000 square feet of the new Tulsa store will be retail floor space, with about 8,000 square feet or warehouse space.
In all it will employ about 55 people, with about 45 dedicated to retail sales and the rest working in the warehouse and delivery department, the company said.
Conn's Home Plus
Furniture, appliances and electronics
10143 E. 71st St.
Size: 48,000 square feet
Opening: Early May
Original Print Headline: Market entry
Kyle Arnold 918-581-8380
Leather couches and other furniture are displayed at a Conn's store. The retailer still sells electronics and appliances but is putting more emphasis on home furnishings, a company executive said. Courtesy
Home appliances are displayed at a Conn's store. Courtesy