C. R. Anthony Co.

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C.R. Anthony Company
Department store
Industry Retail
Founded 1922
Headquarters Cushing, Oklahoma
Products Clothing, footwear, bedding, furniture, jewelry, beauty products, and housewares. Also, material, patterns and other sewing products.
Website None

C.R. Anthony Co., stores branded as Anthony's, was a chain of department stores founded in 1922 in Cushing, Oklahoma by C.R Anthony. Anthony's was acquired by Stage Stores Inc. in 1997 and most stores were rebranded as Stage.

C.R. Anthony[edit]

Charles Ross Anthony, better known as C.R. Anthony, was born near Trenton, Gibson County, Tennessee on August 10, 1885[1] and moved to Oklahoma as a young man. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention from Oklahoma in 1956 and a Rotary member.[1] He was named to the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.[1]

Company history[edit]

The Dixie Store[edit]

C.R. Anthony opened his first retail establishment, The Dixie Store, in September 1922 in a 25-foot storefront in Cushing, Oklahoma.[2][3]

The Dixie Store prospered during the Great Depression.[2]


By 1947 C.R. Anthony changed the name of his 75 store chain to Anthonys.[2]

By 1950 there were Anthonys in Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Nebraska, Kansas, and Arkansas.[2]

By 1964 there were 300 stores, mostly west of the Mississippi River.[2]

$100 million in sales in 1973.[4]

$200 million in sales in 1978.[4]

The Anthony's headquarters at 701 N. Broadway in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.[2][4] The warehouse and distribution center was at 5500 W. Reno Ave.[4]

C.R. Anthony retires[edit]

C.R. Anthony retired from the company in 1972 and his son Guy Anthony became president of the company. In 1980, Guy Anthony retired and his son, Bob Anthony, became president of the company.[3]

In 1985 Anthony's introduced its own credit card.[2]

At its peak Anthony's had 300 stores in 20 states with $411 million in sales.[3]

Anthony's was once the largest privately owned firm headquartered in Oklahoma.[3]

Investor group[edit]

Bob Anthony remained president of Anthony's until 1987 when the company's shareholders voted to sell it to an investor group sponsored by Citicorp Venture Capital.[3]

C.R. Anthony Company (Nasdaq: CRAU)[5]


Anthonys filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1991 after bank lenders refused to fund seasonal line of credit after technical default on a loan[4] At the time it operated 182 stores in the United States. It emerged from bankruptcy in 1992.[4]

Sold to Stage Stores Inc.[edit]

In 1997 Stage Stores Incorporated acquired C.R. Anthony's.[3] It rebranded most of the stores with the Stage name and closed the remaining. At the time of the merger Anthony's operated 226 stores in 14 states[5] and opened 13 more before the buyout was complete.[4]


  1. ^ a b c Kestenbaum, Lawrence, The Political Graveyard: Index to Politicians - Anthony, June 16, 2008 (accessed May 4, 2010)
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Shottenkirk, Marcia (January 22, 2007). "The Century Club: C.R. Anthony". The Oklahoma City Journal Record. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Anthony, Bob. "Oklahomans for Anthony: For the Record: Bob in Business at the C.R. Anthony Company". Retrieved November 17, 2008. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Page, David (March 6, 1997). "Buyout brings end to C.R. Anthony". The Oklahoma City Journal Record. 
  5. ^ a b "Stage Stores and C.R. Anthony Company Announce Merger Plans". Business Wire. March 5, 1997. Retrieved November 17, 2008. 

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Gilbert Hill, Tending to Business (N.p., 1979). Oklahoma City (Oklahoma) Times, 16 June 1976.
  • Page, David. C.R. Anthony's earnings up. The Oklahoma City Journal Record. March 19, 1997.
  • Stewart, Roy P. and Woods, Pendleton. One of a Kind: The Life of C.R. Anthony Western Heritage Books (1981) 228. ISBN 0-86546-019-1, ISBN 978-0-86546-019-5