Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

C.R. Anthony Begins Modernization Plan / $14 Million Campaign to Improve Stores; Headquarters to Be Renovated

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

C.R. Anthony Begins Modernization Plan / $14 Million Campaign to Improve Stores; Headquarters to Be Renovated

Article excerpt

A corporate-wide $14 million store improvement and modernization campaign which should be completed in two years has been begun by C.R. Anthony Co., John J. Wiesner, president and chief executive officer, said Tuesday.

Stores in Midwest City, Moore and Norman all have been targeted for early improvement and expansion, Wiesner said in a speech to the Downtown Rotary Club.

"We expect the store at Rockwell and Northwest Expressway (8357 N. Rockwell Ave.) to become a prototype of our new store," he said. "After that, we will just cookie cutter the remainder so they all will be alike.

"When you do one (remodel and enlarge) in a metropolitan market, then you are forced to do them all. By just doing one store, you present a different picture to consumers at different units and you really want to be the same in all units."

Renovation in the stores will include new decor and store trim along with expansion. In addition, a new advertising campaign, complete with a new logo, is expected to start Feb. 1.

When the campaign begins, newspaper ad lay-outs will contain more graphics and less copy to give a more modern look. The same style of ads will be carried in all newspapers throughout the country which service C. R. Anthony stores to make identification of the company's advertising easier for consumers.

Most of the planned capital expenditure program announced Tuesday will be spent in Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico where 80 percent of the company's business is conducted, Wiesner said.

"We also plan to open two to three new units each year for the next two to three years," he said. "Most of these new units will be targeted for Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and east Texas, because nearly every community in Oklahoma already has a C.R. Anthony store."

No breakdown on the cost of individual store mondernization was given, but Wiesner said when the $112 million leveraged buyout was completed in April, the new owners discovered a "good lease portfolio."

"With the lease terms we discovered we can expand and modernize the stores to gain an additional 20 percent to 25 percent more sales without spending a lot more money," he said. "Because of this we will invest the vast majority of our capital expenditures over this program into upgrading and modernizing existing units."

Included in the modernization program will be renovation of the corporate headquarters, 701 N. Broadway.

"Good terms were offered to us if we would relocate our headquarters elsewhere in Oklahoma City," he said, "but we own our current location. …

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