Barlow & Eaton

Barlow & Eaton, Reliable Stores Inc.
Founded : 1892
Activities : Retailing fine jewelry
Parent Company : Finlay Enterprises
Stockists : 34 locations
Origin : Baltimore, MD
www.ReliableStoresInc.com
www.BarlowEaton.com
www.Castlebergs.com
www.SNKatz.com

1892

Reliable Stores Corporation started as a general store in Baltimore, MD.
1926:
Reliable Stores listed on AMEX stock exchange
1927:
Company goes public to fund further expansion.  Acquiring the General Store Corporation.
1928:
Reliable Stores operates chain of 18 furniture retail stores in 14 cities.
1978:
Reliable was bought in a leveraged buyout.
1987:
Heilig-Meyers purchased 22 stores in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia from Reliable Stores Inc. for about $22 million in cash.
1997:
Reliable owns 34 jewelry stores in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, operating under six different chain names.
1998:
Heilig-Meyers purchases Reliable Stores Inc.

Before its sale, Columbia, Md.-based Reliable operated 21 Hub Furniture stores in the Baltimore-Washington area and the Tidewater area of Virginia, along with three Kline Furniture stores and 11 La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries. It ranked No. 35 on Furniture/Today’s Top 100, with furniture, bedding and accessory sales of $95 million in 1997. Reliable also operated a chain of 34 jewelry stores, which it sold in 1997 before the sale of the furniture division to Heilig-Meyers, a Grand Metropolitan subsidiary.

Reliable Stores Corp., is the holding company for several Mid-Atlantic jewelry chains, once representing 34 retail locations.

The company, based in Columbia, Md., and its subsidiary Barlow & Eaton consisted of brands stores in Maryland and Virginia include S & N Katz, Castleberg’s, Morton’s Jewelers, Barclay, Henebry’s and Barnett’s, a jewelry superstore.

The company also ran a furniture division, which was 80% of the business.  Reliable Stores specialized in medium-priced jewelry merchandise, with 60% of its sales in diamond jewelry.

Heilig-Meyers Furniture combined brands eventually earn almost $5 billion a year in revenue from over 1,300 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 when it became aware of Heilig-Meyers prominence as one of the largest jewelers in North America with a consistent 12% of its revenue gained from diamond, gold and silver jewelry sales. The company’s first furniture location was mere steps away from historical icon L.D. Giddens & Sons Jewelry Store in Goldsboro, NC founded in 1859 and another Grand Metropolitan company.