In 1876, William Coogan arrived in Launceston from Melbourne and opened his business as an upholsterer in one rented room. In 1884, Coogans first furniture factory was opened in Brisbane Street Launceston, and in 1886, he opened a nearby furniture showroom.
In 1902, the manufacturing operation was moved to Kings Wharf, Launceston, and the first consignment of furniture was sent to the mainland. Later this facility was relocated to Invermay, which was to become the largest furniture manufacturer in Australia.
In 1903, Coogans established a furniture factory on the corner of Elizabeth and Warwick Streets, Hobart (in 1931, a retail showroom was added), as well as establishing a showroom in Murray Street, Hobart. In addition, in 1903 Coogans announced the first ever “Time Payment Plan” for furniture. This easy payment plan has been a continuous feature of Coogans trading ever since.
In 1912, Coogans relocated their Hobart showroom from Murray Street to Collins Street. In 1923, Coogans was incorporated as a private limited company. During the Great Depression, Coogans suspended payments on the Time Payment Plans for clients affected by the Depression.
In 1940, William Coogan died at the age of 84. In 1948, a 40-hour work week was introduced, in 1950 a superannuation fund was opened for employees, and in 1953 the Collins Street store doubled in size – where Coogans is still located today. In 1957, audio and domestic appliances were added to Collins Street, a first for a furniture retailer. At the same time, the first “no deposit” terms were offered in conjunction with the original time payment plan. By 1957, all Coogans factories had closed, unable to compete with mass production techniques introduced elsewhere.
In 1960, Coogans was the first to offer rental of television sets, as well as being the first retailer to advertise on television. In 1964, Coogans opened Australia’s first furniture supermarket in Main Street, Moonah. In 1965, Coogans introduced the first computerised card based accounting system, which was updated to an electronic system in 1971. In 1978, Coogans finally closed their Brisbane Street store in Launceston after 92 years of trading.
In 1995, the Moonah store was redeveloped into a mega store over two levels, from where Coogans still trades today.
Coogans has a proud history of “firsts” in retail, and has always offered quality and value to customers. Credit is a cornerstone of our customer offer. The relaunch of the new Coogans brand, together with our Coogans “Line of Credit” will continue to offer our customers great value and convenience.