Welcome Wagon

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This article is about the company. For the band, see The Welcome Wagon. For the episode of Veronica Mars TV show, see Welcome Wagon (Veronica Mars).

Welcome Wagon is a business in the United States that contacts new homeowners after relocation, providing them with coupons and advertisements from local businesses. The company's full name is Welcome Wagon International, Inc.

The company was founded in 1928, by Thomas Briggs in Memphis, Tennessee.[1] Briggs later established the Thomas W. Briggs Foundation in 1957.[1]

When the company was founded, Welcome Wagon "hostesses" would visit new homeowners with a gift basket containing samples, coupons, and advertising from contributing businesses.[2] These home visits continued for over 50 years until 1998, when then-owner Cendant laid off the "hostesses", saying that changing demographics meant few homeowners would be at home when representatives called.[3]

Welcome Wagon Canada, a separate company, continues to offer home visits. It also operates events for people planning a wedding or expecting a baby. Welcome Wagon in Canada was founded in 1930 and was run for many years by Pauline Hill, who first became a Hostess in 1953 and advanced to be head of the company as CEO (1962–1990).[1] Welcome Wagon Ltd. became a wholly Canadian-owned entity in 1979 when a group of Canadian managers purchased it outright from the US owners. Currently, Welcome Wagon Ltd. (Canada) is being led by its CEO, Pat Neuman and its head office is situated in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Hostesses are now known as representatives.[4]

Welcome Wagon International has had several owners. In 1995, CUC International Inc. acquired Welcome Wagon.[5] In 2001, Homestore Inc., later known as Move, Inc., bought Welcome Wagon.

Move, Inc. announced in August 2008 that it was putting Welcome Wagon International, Inc. up for sale. On June 26, 2009, the South Florida Media Group, publisher of South Florida based local publications, acquired Welcome Wagon International, Inc.[6]

Welcome Wagon International, Inc., originally based in Memphis, Tennessee, moved from Westbury, New York to Plainview, New York in 2004.[7] The company had local representatives throughout the United States. Welcome Wagon still markets to new residents through mail, telemarketing calls, and online. The company is now based in Coral Springs, Florida.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "History". Thomas W. Briggs Foundation. Retrieved 2010-12-21. 
  2. ^ Ketcham, Diane (November 25, 1990). "About Long Island; Keeping Up With Suffolk's Last Welcome Wagon Lady". The New York Times. Retrieved December 21, 2010. 
  3. ^ Hays, Constance L. (October 12, 1998). "Welcome Wagon to Make Its Visits Via Post Office". The New York Times. Retrieved December 21, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Welcome Wagon Ltd. A Canadian Tradition Since 1930". Welcome Wagon Ltd. Retrieved December 21, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Company News; Welcome Wagon Acquired by CUC International". The New York Times. February 3, 1995. Retrieved December 21, 2010. 
  6. ^ "DeSilva+Phillips, Mediabankers Client Move, Inc. Sells Welcome Wagon to South Florida Media Group". Prweb.com. June 26, 2009. Retrieved 2010-12-21. 
  7. ^ Strugatch, Warren (October 31, 2004). "L.I.@Work; This Time, Welcome Wagon Is New in Town". The New York Times. Retrieved December 21, 2010. 
  8. ^ Kent, Cindy (October 11, 2010). "Entrepreneurial team welcomes new challenge Former CEOs join to build on 82-year-old Welcome Wagon brand". Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Florida). Retrieved December 20, 2010. 

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