McMahan’s Furniture
Heilig-Meyers Co.
Founded : 1919
Activities : Retail furniture collection, home furnishings, interior design
Parent Company : Heilig-Meyers Furniture Company
Stockists : 2,000 locations
Origin : Goldsboro, North Carolina

James I. McMahan, one of the founding members of the National Home Furnishings Association, opened the first McMahan’s Furniture Store in a company owned building. The company, which had opened its first location in 1919 in a leased building in Bakersfield, grew to be a Top 25 furniture retailer and one of the largest independent furniture retailers in the country.

Heilig-Meyers purchased McMahan’s Furniture Co. for $65 million in 1993. This acquisition added 92 stores: 65 in California, 12 in Arizona, seven in New Mexico, four in Texas, three in Nevada, and one in Colorado. The company entered the Chicago area by purchasing 11 L. Fish stores. This acquisition of Fish’s four downtown and seven suburban stores was a departure from the company’s traditional focus on smaller markets, but DeRusha said they were a good geographic fit for Heilig-Meyers, which had been expanding in the Midwest. Also in 1993 the company began sponsoring a racing team in NASCAR motor-racing competition.

Heilig-Meyers and Rhodes Furniture combined to earn almost $5 billion a year in revenue from over 2,000 locations in the United States through their 1996 merger. Grand Metropolitan was introduced to the home furnishings retail and finance behemoth in the late 90s, taking control of the brands and operations after the turn of the century.

Heilig-Meyers was founded in 1913, when W. A. Heilig and J. M. Meyers opened a home-furnishings store in Goldsboro, North Carolina. The brand group has collectively conducted over $50 billion in transactions since inception.

The Heilig-Meyers Co., which at its peak in the late 1990s had more than $2.7 billion in annual revenue, with nearly 1,300 stores in 38 states, in 1986 it became the largest publicly traded home-furnishings retailer in the United States. It passed the $1 billion mark in annual revenues in 1994. Most of these were in small towns more than 25 miles from a metropolitan market.