Simmons second century
A story of money
few examples of his energy and vision: -During and just after World War I, he acquired several small mattress companies in Newark, Atlanta, San Francisco and Montreal. -In 1919, he moved corporate headquarters to New York. -In 1924, he arranged for listing of Simmons Common Stock on the New York Stock Exchange. -In 1926 he launched the Beautyrest mattress. -In 1929, he acquired B. F. Huntley of North Carolina; Berkey and Gay of Grand Rapids; and the Rosemary and Patterson mills in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina. Alas, this shining period of progress ended with the Crash in 1929. In three days Simmons stock fell from $188 a share to $98. By 1932, it hitan all-time low of 27/8 a share. From 1930 through 1934, the company experienced the only loss years in its history. For the third Mr. Simmons, Grant Simmons, Sr., the great depression was a baptism of fire. He became President in 1 929-the worst possible time to become president of any company. Simmons was a bit of a shambles. We were a national business mostly on paper. Old Kenosha ideas rasped against new viewpoints, east, south, and west. Control over regional products, prices and policies were ineffectual and often quixotic. Worst of all, we were weak financially. Grant Simmons, Sr.'s rehabilitation of the company under these conditions will always remain one of the proudest chapters in our history. Just when we were at rock bottom, on a very black day on the New York Stock Market, he completed the $15 million loan that kept our corporate head above water. Later, he retired the bulk of this loan at a very handsome discount. Then, with the assistance of Messrs. Guthrie, Terrell, Burke, and Wrightson, he put the company back on its feet. They liquidated our investment in the Berkey and Gay and B. F Huntley furniture companies -now a "horror case" at the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. By 1933, they nursed operations to a break-even point. By 1935, we were Grant Simmons, Sr.
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