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‘CR’ Gaines Heads New Retail Team At Conn’s With Casey Chung, David Hutchinson Aboard

Conn’s has put a new management team in place for its retail segment following the retirement of division president David Trahan and the departure of his son, merchandising VP Aaron Trahan, earlier this month.

The elder Trahan stepped down on Jan. 1 after serving the company for three decades, including the last eight as retail president. He was succeeded by Coleman “CR” Gaines, formerly store operations executive VP at TMX Finance, where he ran a 1,300-store chain of consumer finance shops serving subprime customers under the TitleMax and TitleBucks brands.

In his new role, Coleman will oversee Conn’s retail operations, merchandising, logistics and service functions.

“CR is a seasoned operations executive with over 25 years of experience at high-growth retail organizations,” said chairman/CEO Norm Miller. “With his track record of providing outstanding leadership and solid financial management, I’m confident that CR will ensure Conn’s is well-positioned to achieve sustainable revenue growth in our retail business.”

Conn’s retail segment has suffered in recent quarters as tightened lending terms, intended to reduce losses within the chain’s in-house financing arm, have taken a toll on merchandise sales.

In addition to Coleman, Miller has brought in supply chain expert Casey Chung (Caleres/Famous Footwear, Gap, Blockbuster, Walmart) as logistics VP, and Home Depot and Sears veteran David Hutchinson as service VP, in the company’s most sweeping management shakeup since Miller succeeded chief exec Theo Wright last year.

Last month Miller also named a new chief accounting officer, George Bchara, formerly of BankUnited, to succeed Mark Haley.

In announcing Trahan’s retirement, Miller cited his solid retail oversight during a period of massive expansion, when the business grew from 20 to 113 stores and $100 million to $1.3 billion in sales.

“David has been a strong contributor to our company for thirty years and has helped transform Conn’s into the successful specialty retailer it is today,” Miller said.

Trahan’s son Aaron went on to join hhgregg as chief merchandising officer after 14 years with the Texas-based furniture, appliance and CE chain.