After a year of customer and expert research, E.C. Barton & Company is making a major change. The company that is 100% employee-owned and employs more than 700 people across 17 states that range from the deep South to New England will add a new division, Barton’s Home Improvement, company Communications Manager Danial Reed told Talk Business & Politics.
The first Barton’s Home Improvement has been opened in Conway. The store offers a product range that includes flooring, cabinetry, plumbing, and millwork. Complimentary customer design services are also included.
“We are delighted about the opening of the Barton’s Home Improvement store in Conway, Arkansas,” Kevin Pierce, COO of E.C. Barton & Company said. “We are proud to expand our national footprint right here in our home state and the growth in Conway made it a great choice for our next location. We are also particularly excited about this store because it serves as the launch of our new brand, Barton’s Home Improvement – a pilot store we are testing in select locations.”
The home improvement model will extend to at least six locations in the Barton chain and include a store in Jonesboro, Reed said. Company officials did not want to rush the rebrand and took a methodical approach when crafting BHI, she added.
“As we open new stores, we invest conservatively. It’s important that we do the right thing for both our partners and our customers,” Reed said. “Our focus is on maintaining the ‘guaranteed lowest price’ product offering in the markets where we operate. For this reason, we work diligently to research the market and to identify an empty retail location that meets our needs. This strategy also allows us to revitalize shopping centers, making a long-term commitment to the community and to the local retail economy.”
The Barton’s company started off as a grocery store in Jonesboro in 1885. Employees with the company are referred to as partners. The company has 102 stores. Four businesses – Barton’s, Bargain Outlet, Surplus Warehouse, and ECB Brokerage – operate under the E.C. Barton & Company name.
Through the years, the company has acquired other businesses, but the company’s biggest move was when it bought Grossman’s Bargain Outlet which has 56 stores in 2006. Grossman’s operates in several states in the Northeast. There are 111 employees in the Jonesboro area and 195 in Arkansas.
The company focuses on housing remodels. In addition to lumber and other building supplies, it offers a wide array of kitchen, bathroom, flooring, and other products.