Bob's Discount Furniture

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Bob's Discount Furniture
Industry Furniture retail
Founded 1991; 27 years ago (1991)
Founders Bob Kaufman
Gene Rosenberg[1]
Headquarters Manchester, Connecticut, U.S.
Number of locations
107 stores (August 2018)[2]
Area served
[3][4]
Key people
Edmond (Ted) J. English (Executive Chairman)
Michael Skirvin (President & CEO)[3][5]
Jeremy Aguilar CFO
Stephen Nesle (CMO)[6]
Michael Hoffman (EVP Marketing)[7]
John Weldon (SVP Store Operations)[8]
Products Furniture, Bedding, Mattresses
Revenue Increase US$ 1.1 billion (2016)[9]
Owner Bain Capital[10][11][12][13]
Number of employees
2,500 (2011)[14]
Website www.mybobs.com

Bob's Discount Furniture is an American furniture store headquartered in Manchester, Connecticut. Bob's Discount Furniture was founded in 1991 with its first store in Newington, Connecticut[1] and is ranked 12th in sales among United States furniture stores according to Furniture Today's list of Top 100 Furniture Stores.[15] As of May 2018, the company has 99 stores in 16 states, primarily in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, and West Coast.

History[edit]

In 1976, future company co-founder Bob Kaufman was injured in a motorcycle accident. He discovered the benefits of a waterbed for recuperation.[1][16] The experience inspired Kaufman to become involved with waterbed sales, and during the 1980s, he rented space in 24 New England stores for selling waterbeds.[1][16] By 1990, waterbed sales had dwindled, and Kaufman partnered with Gene Rosenberg, owner of Wholesale Furniture, where Kaufman had rented space for waterbed sales. Rosenberg acquired a building in Newington, Connecticut that was previously owned by a furniture company that had become bankrupt.[1][16] In 1991, the Newington, Connecticut location became the first Bob's Discount Furniture store.[1][14][16] The company was initially co-owned by Rosenberg (two-thirds) and Kaufman (one-third).[1] As time progressed, the company expanded to additional locations, often acquiring buildings that had been vacated by tenants bankrupted during the recession.[1] By 1997, the company operated a dozen stores in Connecticut and two in western Massachusetts.[1] The company's ability to grow during its early years in spite of unfavorable economic conditions has been partially attributed to the extensive use of commercials.[1][14] In early 2005, the investment firm Saunders Karp & Megrue acquired 70 percent ownership of Bob's Discount Furniture. Subsequently, Saunders Karp & Megrue was acquired by Apax Partners Worldwide in March 2005.[11][12][13][14]

In November 2006, Ted English, former president and CEO of TJX Companies, became the CEO of Bob's Discount Furniture, replacing Stan Adelstein, who became chairman.[5][17][18] Adelstein retired in April 2013, with English taking over as chairman.[19] In late 2006, Bob's Discount Furniture expanded into Rhode Island, New Jersey, and New York. English led Bob's into its expansion further south into Maryland and Virginia.[17][20] In Q1 of 2014, Bob's Discount Furniture was acquired by Bain Capital, with the current management team continuing to own a significant stake in the company as a part of that deal.[21][22]

In 2016, Michael Skirvin was promoted from president and COO to president and CEO, replacing English, who remained with Bob’s Discount Furniture as executive chairman.[23]

Bob's Discount Furniture store in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania

Advertising[edit]

As of 1997, the company broadcast roughly 500 commercials a week in Connecticut on network and cable television stations.[1] By 2006, the commercials had become common during broadcasts of Boston Red Sox and New York Mets games.[24] The commercials usually feature company president Bob Kaufman, typically wearing jeans and a golf shirt or turtleneck, and have also included Bob's Discount Furniture employees such as Cathy Poulin, the company's Director of Public Relations.[25][5][14][26][27] “Little Bob,” a miniature version of Bob Kaufman, frequently appears in the company’s commercials.[28] The advertisements are frequently described as prolific,[29] wacky and goofy often containing catch phrases describing their “untouchable value.”[28]

Bob's Discount Furniture is also an official sponsor for several professional sports teams, including the Washington Redskins, New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants, Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Galaxy.[30][3][31][32][17]

Stores and products[edit]

Bob’s Discount Furniture has stores located in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and Wisconsin.[33] The company expanded to the West Coast in February 2018.[34]

Bob’s Discount Furniture locations include an in-store cafe with complimentary refreshments.[35][36][37] Some stores also have a back room with products that are considered imperfect; this area is called “The Outlet.”

Community involvement[edit]

Bob's Discount Furniture donates over $2.75 million per year to charitable causes through two initiatives, the Bob’s Discount Furniture Charitable Foundation and Bob’s Outreach program.[38] Programs are led by Bob Kaufman and Bob's commercial sidekick, Cathy Poulin, Director of Outreach and Public Relations. Through these efforts, the company supports several organizations each year, including March of Dimes, Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters, Family & Children’s Aid, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Autism Speaks[39], the Special Olympics,[40] Save the Children,[41] and Camp Rising Sun.[42][43]

Bob's Discount Furniture has sponsored blood drives in partnership with sports teams like the New England Patriots[44] and the New York Giants,[45] and the company has been recognized by the American Red Cross for its blood drives and financial contributions to the organization.[46][47] The company has also been involved in food drives and charity walks, and conducts a "Celebrate the Arts Contest" to provide grants to regional schools.[48][49][50]

In December 2008, Bob's Discount Furniture donated a household full of furniture to the family in Voluntown, Connecticut receiving an ABC Extreme Home Makeover.[51]

In response to the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, Bob's Discount Furniture and its employees provided relief assistance. The company provided food, clothing and relief supplies as well as the trucks to deliver the items.[52]

Café Collections for a Cause[edit]

At each Bob’s Discount Furniture Café, a statue of Bob collects thousands of dollars from its customers for a different non-profit charity each quarter. Each year, Bob’s collects, matches and presents 100% of these donations to four charities: Autism Speaks,[53][54] Save the Children,[55] Pajama Program[56] and Special Olympics.[57]

Bob’s Golf Outing[edit]

In 1987, Bob’s Discount Furniture began Bob’s Golf Outing. Money raised from the event goes directly to a number of non-profit charities, including Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters, Family & Children’s Aid, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, and Camp Rising Sun.[58]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Ryan, Bill. Now About Bob and Those TV Spots... The New York Times. Section 14CN, Page 1. November 30, 1997.
  2. ^ "Bob's Discount Furniture Store Locations". Retrieved September 5, 2018. 
  3. ^ a b c Bob’s Discount Furniture Promotes Michael Skirvin to President & CEO. March 10, 2016. Last accessed April 28,2016.
  4. ^ Bob’s Discount Furniture coming to Southern California with 6 stores planned for 2018. December 06, 2017. Last accessed January 18,2018.
  5. ^ a b c Company profile[permanent dead link] from Hoover's, Inc.. Last accessed September 15, 2007.
  6. ^ "Bob's Discount Furniture Names Steve Nesle as CMO, Adam Kasper as Marketing VP, Stacey Karagiannis as eCommerce VP". Bulldog Reporter. Retrieved 30 December 2017. 
  7. ^ "Michael Hoffman, Carol Glaser in expanded roles at Bob's". Furniture Today. Retrieved 28 December 2017. 
  8. ^ "Bob's Discount Furniture Opens Four New Stores". Retail & Restaurant. Retrieved 1 January 2017. 
  9. ^ Top 100 U.S. Furniture Stores. Furniture Today. May 28, 2007. Volume 31, Issue 37, p. 26.
  10. ^ New Investors Have 'Come on Down' To Bob's Discount Furniture (article preview). The Hartford Courant. February 1, 2005. E1. Last accessed September 15, 2007.
  11. ^ a b Saunders Karp & Megrue Completes Recapitalization of Bob's Discount Furniture (press release). January 31, 2005. Last accessed September 14, 2007.
  12. ^ a b Engel, Cliff. Firm buys 70% stake in Bob's. Furniture Today. February 7, 2005. Last accessed September 14, 2007.
  13. ^ a b French, Howard. Bob's moving into Rhode Island Archived September 25, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.. Journal Inquirer. July 19, 2006. Last accessed September 14, 2007.
  14. ^ a b c d e Marks, Paul. New Investors Have 'Come on Down' To Bob's Discount Furniture (article preview). The Hartford Courant. February 1, 2005. E1. Last accessed September 15, 2007.
  15. ^ "Who are the Top 100 Furniture Stores? | Furniture Today". www.furnituretoday.com. Retrieved 2018-04-18. 
  16. ^ a b c d http://www.mybobs.com/about/default.asp Last accessed September 14, 2007.
  17. ^ a b c Cronin, Anthony. Former TJX CEO joining Bob's Discount Furniture. The Day (New London, CT). Business and Financial News. November 8, 2006.
  18. ^ Engel, Clint. Bob's Discount names TJX veteran English to CEO post Archived June 10, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.. Furniture Today. November 13, 2006. Last accessed September 14, 2007.
  19. ^ "Stan Adelstein retires as Bob's Discount Furniture chairman - Furniture Today". www.furnituretoday.com. Retrieved 3 January 2018. 
  20. ^ "Booming Bob's | Homegrown TV Ads And Product Value Doubles Furniture Seller's Growth". Hartford Business Journal. Retrieved 2018-01-19. 
  21. ^ "Bob's Discount Furniture to Be Acquired by Bain Capital". Retrieved 3 January 2018. 
  22. ^ Abrams, Rachel. "Bain to Buy Control of Bob's Discount Furniture". DealBook. Retrieved 2018-01-19. 
  23. ^ "Bob's Discount Furniture names CEO |Chain Store Age". Chain Store Age. 2016-03-10. Retrieved 2018-01-19. 
  24. ^ Aucoin, Don. Bigmouth Strikes Again. The Boston Globe. Living, p. C3. July 8, 2006.
  25. ^ "Bob's Discount Furniture arrives at Broadcasting Square | Reading Eagle - MONEY". Reading Eagle. Retrieved 2018-01-19. 
  26. ^ Fillo, Maryellen. Is Bob's Sidekick Gone? I Doubt It! (article preview). The Hartford Courant. Life section. September 23, 2006. Last accessed September 14, 2007.
  27. ^ Gomez, Michael. It's Bob's World, We Just Sit in It. Business New Haven. March 20, 2000. Last accessed September 14, 2007.
  28. ^ a b "Bob's Discount Furniture invades Chicago market with multiple stores and goofy ads". www.bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2018-01-19. 
  29. ^ "A 'No Phony Gimmicks' Guy". 75th Anniversary. Retrieved 2018-01-19. 
  30. ^ "Bob's Discount Furniture enters Los Angeles market with 6 stores in 2018 | Furniture Today". www.furnituretoday.com. Retrieved 2018-01-19. 
  31. ^ "Everyday Values in the Outlet | Bob's Discount Furniture". Bob's Discount Furniture. Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  32. ^ Netter, Sarah. More than prices are down-to-earth at Bob's. Journal Inquirer. May 30, 2002.
  33. ^ "Store Locations | Bob's Discount Furniture". www.mybobs.com. Retrieved 2018-01-19. 
  34. ^ "Bob's Furniture Coming on Down to the West Coast". Manchester, CT Patch. 2018-02-09. Retrieved 2018-04-18. 
  35. ^ "Bob's Discount Furniture Opens in Burbank". Oak Lawn, IL Patch. 2016-02-10. Retrieved 2018-01-19. 
  36. ^ Burke, Michael. "Bob's Discount Furniture opens at Regency Mall". Journal Times. Retrieved 2018-01-19. 
  37. ^ "Bob's Discount Furniture arrives at Broadcasting Square | Reading Eagle - MONEY". Reading Eagle. Retrieved 2018-01-19. 
  38. ^ "About Us | Bob's Cares". www.bobscares.org. Retrieved 2018-01-19. 
  39. ^ "Bob's Discount Furniture Donates $100,000 to Autism Speaks". Autism Speaks. 2012-07-25. Retrieved 2018-01-19. 
  40. ^ "Bob's Discount Furniture presents $75k Check to Special Olympics | Furniture Today". www.furnituretoday.com. Retrieved 2018-01-19. 
  41. ^ "Bob's Discount Furniture gives $45,000 to Save the Children | Furniture Today". www.furnituretoday.com. Retrieved 2018-01-19. 
  42. ^ "About Us | Bob's Cares". www.bobscares.org. Retrieved 2018-01-19. 
  43. ^ "Charitable Giving Series: Bob's Creative Giving | Furniture World Magazine". Furniture World Magazine. Retrieved 2018-01-19. 
  44. ^ http://www.hfnmag.com/furniture/bobs-discount-red-cross-new-england-patriots-team-up-for-blood-drive/
  45. ^ "Giants hosting annual blood drive Saturday". Retrieved 3 January 2018. 
  46. ^ Red Cross salutes Bob's Discount Archived June 10, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.. Furniture Today. June 29, 2005. Last accessed September 14, 2007.
  47. ^ Mybobssquad.com Archived September 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  48. ^ Bob's Furniture to collect food for local food banks (article preview). Nashua Telegraph. August 30, 2004. Last accessed September 14, 2007.
  49. ^ Collins, Megan. Furniture store's grant will help Pleasant Valley Elementary's arts program. Journal Inquirer. September 9, 2006. Last accessed September 15, 2007.
  50. ^ Bob's Discount Furniture Archived August 21, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  51. ^ "Bob's Discount Furniture Donates Furniture To Connecticut Family | Furniture World Magazine". Furniture World Magazine. Retrieved 2018-01-19. 
  52. ^ "Bob's Discount Furniture VP To Be Honored At GMFA Dinner In November". Furniture World Magazine. Retrieved 2018-01-19. 
  53. ^ "Bob's Discount Furniture Donates $100,000 to Autism Speaks". Autism Speaks. 2012-07-25. Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  54. ^ "Bob's Discount Furniture Expands Partnership Autism Speaks". autismspeaks.com. Retrieved 2 December 2016. 
  55. ^ "Bob's gives $60,000 to Save the Children". Hartford Business Journal. Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  56. ^ Courant, Hartford. "Community News For The Manchester Edition". Courant Community. Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  57. ^ Ameden, Danielle. "Special Olympics athletes compete in MetroWest Schools Games". Natick Bulletin and Tab. Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  58. ^ "Bob's Discount Furniture announces 30th Annual Golf Outing | Furniture Today". www.furnituretoday.com. Retrieved 2018-01-19. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°48′30″N 72°31′25″W / 41.80833°N 72.52361°W / 41.80833; -72.52361