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🠈  Genesco  🠊

Genesco

Genesco is a publicly traded retailer with 2775 retail stores and leased departments (drawn 11/2017). Brands in the chain include Journeys and Lids. The company is headquartered in Nashville and trades on the NYSE with the symbol GCO.

Jarman Shoe Company was founded as a shoe manufacturer in 1924 by James Franklin Jarman and William Hatch Wemyss who had worked for Carter Shoe Co.

In 1933, James' son Walton Maxey Jarman became president and chained the company's name to General Shoe Company in 1933. The company went public in 1939. They trade on the NYSE with the symbol GCO.

Maxey added retail operations in key cities. He bought tanning firms and box makers and purchased other shoe manufacturers including W.L. Douglas Shoe Co. (a maker of men's shoes), Nisley Shoe Co. (they owned 45 retail stores in the Midwest). In 1951 the company acquired Johnston & Murphy Shoe Company (This is a high end brand founded in 1850: JohnstonMurphy.com. In 1953 they bought which sold mens shoes and clothing.

Genesco continued to buy up shoe stores and manufacturers until it owned 5% of the US shoe market. In 1955 the Justice Department put an injunction on the company to stop it from becoming a monopoly.

The company began diversifying. It purchased controlling interest in Bonwit Teller stores and in Tiffany & Co.. In 1959, they shortened the name to Genesco to emphasize changes in the conglomerate.

In 1962, Genesco purchased the variety store S.H. Kress & Co.. In 1969, the conglomerate became the first apparel store to cross the one billion dollar sales mark.

Business began to wane in the 1970s. Genesco's manufacturing had difficulty competing with foreign manufacturers and discount retailers put pressure on its retail stores.

The company closed its manufacturing efforts and began concentrating on retail sales. Its iconic brands focused on traditional business shoes, while the market was looking for casual and sporting shoes.

At some time in the 1990s, Genesco created a chain of stores called Journeys which has been successful. With a successful brand in hand, Genesco returned to acquisitions.

In 2004 Genesco purchased a company called Lids. Lids had just acquired Hat World making it the largest store selling ball caps. In 2012 Genesco purchased a British chain of stores called Schuh.

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