Burlington Coat Factory
|Traded as||NYSE: BURL|
(with retail outlets opening in 1972)
|Headquarters||Burlington Township, New Jersey, United States|
|Key people||Monroe Milstein: Founder|
|Revenue||US $2.8 billion (2004)|
Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse Corporation (now commonly and on their website referred to simply as Burlington) is an American national department store retailer for clothes and shoes, with over 500 stores in 44 states and Puerto Rico (as of 2012). In 2006, it was acquired by Bain Capital in a take-private transaction. The company's corporate headquarters are located in Burlington Township, New Jersey.
The company was founded in 1924 as "Burlington Coat Factory", a manufacturer of ladies' coats and outerwear. The modern company was formed and incorporated in 1972 when Monroe Milstein and his wife, Henrietta Milstein, purchased a garment factory and warehouse in Burlington, New Jersey, and started selling coats and outerwear. Monroe along with his father, Abe Milstein, had already been wholesalers of ladies coats and suits in New York City for many years and had a feel for retail from working with department store's buyers from his wholesale business plus the small retail business he had been running with his parents and family members from his wholesale loft for years that was operated outside of regular business hours. His talents and experiences in the field of fashion and his deep understanding of the market and what the customers really wanted guided his success. The company started gradually adding other apparel, including sportswear, suits, shoes, and accessories, and through the direct efforts of Henrietta branched out to include baby and children's items. Current fashions in women's and men's and children's clothing, and merchandise including linens, were offered at considerable discount to most of its competitors and nobody sold so many coats with so much depth all year round. MJM Designer Shoes and Cohoes Fashions are separate stores in the Burlington Coat Factory family.
In the September 11, 2001 attacks, after hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 penetrated through the South Tower of The World Trade Center, part of the plane's landing gear and fuselage came out the north side of the tower and crashed through the roof and two of the floors of the Burlington Coat Factory at 45–47 Park Place, between West Broadway and Church Street, (600 feet (180 meters)) north of the former World Trade Center. The plane parts destroyed three floor beams, and severely compromised the building's internal structure. Nearly nine years later, the building was part of a national controversy, as efforts to build a Muslim center and mosque at the site as the "Cordoba House" sparked a national controversy.
In 2007, the company closed three of its Cohoes stores, and converted two Cohoes stores to Burlington Coat Factory stores. As a result, all the fashions in New York Lottery drawings provided by Cohoes Fashions Inc. were taken over by Burlington Coat Factory. As of July 2010, the two remaining Cohoes stores continued to operate under that name.
On June 27, 2013, Burlington filed its S-1 registration statement with the SEC for an initial public offering.
Under investigation from animal welfare organization Humane Society of the United States, Burlington Coat Factory has been accused of labeling real fur products as "faux fur". The company agreed to pull the false advertisements after an undercover investigation revealed "faux fur" as actually made from the pelts of animals killed in China. Burlington Coat Factory's coats have also been found to contain dog pelts.
Burlington Coat Factory's logo is often supplemented with the tag "Not Affiliated with Burlington Industries." When Burlington Coat Factory settled a trademark dispute with fabric maker Burlington Industries in 1981, Burlington Coat Factory agreed to say in advertising that the two companies are not affiliated. Even though Burlington Industries ceased operations in 2004, it would be five years before the "not affiliated" disclaimer would disappear from TV commercials; it still appears in print media today. As of 2009, the sub heading has been removed from all logos used by the company.
In 2006, after changing ownership, the company for the first time began offering cash and credit card refunds. Prior to this policy change, the only refunds were in the form of store credit, regardless of whether the customer had a receipt.
Departments and services
A typical Burlington Coat Factory store includes menswear, sportswear, accessory, youth, and shoe departments. Most stores have two specialty departments. "Luxury Linens" sells linen and furniture items, as well as housewares and home decor items. The "Baby Depot" sells a variety of baby furniture and equipment and offers a baby registry service. Many stores also provide a tailor shop.
- "FOR RELEASE ON JANUARY 18, 2006". Corporate.burlingtoncoatfactory.com. Retrieved May 30, 2009.
- "Directions to New Jersey Corporate Office." Burlington Coat Factory. Retrieved on May 10, 2010.
- "Corporate Addresses." Burlington Coat Factory. Retrieved on May 10, 2010.
- "Burlington township, Burlington County, New Jersey." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on May 10, 2010.
- "Florence township, Burlington County, New Jersey."
- Hernandez, Javier C. (May 25, 2010). "Vote Endorses Muslim Center Near Ground Zero". The New York Times. Retrieved August 1, 2010.
- Dunning, Matt (May 6, 2010). "CB1 Committee Hails Plans for a Mosque Two Blocks from WTC Site". The Tribeca Trib. Retrieved August 3, 2010.
- World Trade Center emergency damage .... January 3, 2008. Retrieved August 4, 2010.
- World Trade Center emergency damage .... January 3, 2008. Retrieved August 8, 2010.
- World Trade Center building .... Retrieved August 8, 2010.
- Funk, Luke (January 19, 2010). "Ground Zero Mosque Plan Moves Forward; "Shame On You" Shouted at Panel". Fox News. Retrieved August 4, 2010.
- "Titleer". 74. Retrieved August 8, 2010.
- Hernandez, Javier C. (July 13, 2010). "Planned Sign of Tolerance Bringing Division Instead". The New York Times. Retrieved August 1, 2010.
- Structural Engineers Association of New York, Noah Klersfeld, Guy Nordenson and Associates, LZA Technology (2003). World Trade Center emergency damage assessment of buildings: Structural Engineers Association of New York inspections of September and October 2001 1. Structural Engineers Association of New York. Retrieved August 3, 2010.
- Boccio, Rose (January 2, 2001). "Fur-Raising Reality Dog And Cat Pelts Fetch A Profit". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. Retrieved May 30, 2009.
- View all comments that have been posted about this article. (February 5, 2008). "Md. Bill Seeks to End Mislabeling of Fur Coats". Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved May 30, 2009.
- Mooar, Brian (December 18, 1998). "Secret Search Led to Discovery of Dog Fur in U.S. Clothing; Investigation: Humane Society estimates at least 2 million domesticated animals abroad are killed annually to make garments, toys and other products". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. Retrieved May 30, 2009.