Conn’s Slows Growth, Looks To Squeeze More from Debt Collection, Mattresses

CONN’S SLOWS GROWTH, LOOKS TO SQUEEZE MORE FROM DEBT COLLECTION, MATTRESSES 11051 Northwest Fwy., Spring Branch East, Houston, 77092Previously investigated home appliance and furniture retailer Conn’s is slowing down on plans to add new stores in the wake of the quarterly net losses announced yesterday, Mike D. Smith writes this afternoon. The Woodlands-based national chain (which has about 20 Houston area locations and 55 in Texas) has scaled back expansion plans to adding just 3 stores next fiscal year, despite grander talk last December. Among the initiatives in the works to boost profits: pushing the store’s mix of goods toward more higher-margin items like furniture and mattresses. Also on the list: boosting customers’ interest rates on in-house loans repayments and adding more months to payback plans. National retail consultant Howard Davidowitz tells Smith that both ideas look like steps toward a more sustainable business model for the company (which has been threatened with a class action lawsuit by its investors for allegedly hiding profit losses caused by targeting customers with lower credit scores): “The reality is, that’s how people live,” Davidowitz said. “The question is, ‘How much am I paying every month?’ And that’s going to determine in their minds whether they can afford it.” [Houston Chronicle] Photo of Conn’s at 11051 Hwy. 290 in Spring Branch: Conn’s 

7 Comment

  • That bit about people only looking at their monthly payment is so, so true, and so, so, SO a big part of why poor people stay poor.

  • I’ve always wondered how Conn’s is still in business since I don’t know anyone who’s shopped there ever. Investor fraud and usurious credit practices are so 2008…

  • @ AxolotlRose
    I think Alex’s comment about “why poor people stay poor” answers your question on how Conn’s (what a perfect pun) stays in business. The poor may not have the math skills to see a bad deal – and some may have flawed decision-making skills and keep coming back. Talk about a vicious cycle.

  • Their name is appropriate

  • I haven’t been in a Conn’s for a while because once you’re in the door the salespeople will not leave you alone until you’re back out in the parking lot. It’s like visiting a used car lot. Once, a few years ago, I stopped by to get an obviously loss-leader Blu-ray player. The salesman told me I could only get that price if I opened an instant Conn’s credit account. If they’ll still be around in 5 years is anyone’s guess.

  • We bought our last TV there, almost 10yrs ago. At the time I shopped around online ahead of time and they had the best price by about $100 (on a $2k Samsung). Walked in, pointed to the TV, paid in cash and walked out. That too me is the only way to shop a place like Conns, For electronics that are more luxury and need, if you cannot pay cash, you shouldn’t be buying them.

  • Could not agree more with the negative comments. Only time we even walked in the door we were new to the area — maybe some of their business is other uninformed newcomers.