In 1903, William pioneered and transformed Coogans with a unique financing system where customers could make payment arrangements, financed by the company itself. While higher purchase, no deposit and buy now, pay later are all financial terms we have come to know, it was William’s innovative thinking to make life easier for customers that has remained front and centre of the Coogans brand promise we still know to this day, Making more possible!
In 2018 the company was restructured and separated into two separate entities, W Coogan & Co Pty Ltd, Furniture and Homewares retailer, while The Brown family bought out the finance arm, Coogans Group Pty Ltd. Great grandson of Coogans founder, David Brown securing the Coogans Tasmania name to live on, finalising the deal in October 2019. The changed retail conditions facing the business saw the close of the retail arm shortly after.
In late 2019, Coogans Group Pty Ltd Chief Executive Officer and great great grandson of William Coogan, Chris Brown, reintroduced the Coogans Finance product to more than 50 Tasmanian retail outlets offering Coogans Finance across the state, this growing to more than 200 retailers and services by mid 2021.
Today, the Coogan family continue to celebrate the spirit of William Coogan’s vision for making more possible to everyday Tasmanians. It is William Coogan’s story that paved the way for the next chapter to be built.
“My family have always been very committed to the Coogans name and its focus on local service. We really love being able to help people when we can. My mother and father, both now passed, were also directors of Coogans at different stages, and as a family, I knew the Coogans name couldn’t disappear as it still means so much to our customers”, said David.
Young William Coogan arrived from Melbourne to Tasmania, having completed his apprenticeship, he began working as an upholsterer. William’s entrepreneurial mindset saw greater opportunities, and like any successful entrepreneur, in 1876 his dream began in a small rented single room. Armed with more than a knack for making quality furniture and a fine reputation to match, the Coogan empire grew from factories in Launceston and Hobart to retail stores across Tasmania.
Over 144 years, the Coogans brand evolved from upholstery to manufacturing furniture and homewares and as a substantial importer of global fine furnishings. Employing up to 300 Tasmanians at any given time, Coogans has been a major contributor to the Tasmanian economy.
William believed in community and his support for fellow Tasmanians was always evident in his company policies around hiring returned soldiers whether the resource was needed or not, or by offering staff alternating shifts to avoid devastating unemployment during the Great Depression.
Coogans Finance still has many of the same faces working for the business and the same personal and friendly service. The business values remain centred around their staff, community, and most of all their customers.
Forever symbolic as a retail brand, Coogans Finance has a proud heritage to provide a strong future of delivering financial support to look after Tasmanians tomorrow and beyond.
Leaders in finance. Pioneers in quality, innovation and customer service. Making more possible!