Lounsbury Group, covering Maritimers from room to road for 145 years
Posted on February 17, 2023 | By Alexander Chafe | 0 Comments
The diverse nature of Lounsbury Group’s operations continues to have a notable impact throughout New Brunswick. Dating back almost 150 years, what started as a simple retail shop has grown into a multi-channel group of businesses spanning four different industries.
Origins of the Lounsbury Group date back to 1878 when Leonard W. Johnston opened Johnson and Company, a general retail operation on the wharf of Newcastle, New Brunswick. The business grew over time and eventually had offices in three different cities across New Brunswick and one in Quebec.
In 1892, Johnston sold his Newcastle business to employees George Clark and G.A. Lounsbury, and the business was renamed Clark & Lounsbury. The two business partners grew operations together, opening agencies in Chatham and Moncton, until 1896 when Lounsbury purchased Clark’s shares and renamed the business G.A. Lounsbury Co.
New product lines
Product offerings at Lounsbury continuously changed over time to follow consumer interests, which helped the business thrive and grow across the province. Farm equipment and pianos were added to the product line in the late 1890s, and in 1902 the business was incorporated as The Lounsbury Company Limited.
In 1911, Lounsbury Company sold its first car and four years later signed a contract to become a Chevrolet dealer in the province. This was the start of a long-standing relationship between Lounsbury and Chevrolet that continues to this day.
Furniture was also added to Lounsbury’s line of merchandise in 1916 and in 1923, company headquarters moved from where it all started in Newcastle to Moncton.
Restructuring and growth
A major change occurred in 1950 when 35 Lounsbury employees purchased 99 per cent of the company’s voting shares. A new board was elected and the change in ownership was welcomed by customers.
After selling its four industrial branches that sold construction and farming equipment to employees in 1960, Lounsbury continued to grow in other sectors. Lounsbury Leasing was created in 1980 and Lounsbury added several car dealerships to its business portfolio over time; BMW Mini, Audi and Volkswagon dealerships were opened in Moncton and Lounsbury also acquired Dieppe Auto, Seaside Chevrolet and Vision Ford dealerships in the province.
Today, Lounsbury Group has operations in eight different cities throughout New Brunswick and employs over 500 people across the province. Lounsbury’s current business line-up includes Lounsbury Automotive (with 11 car dealerships), Lounsbury Truck Centre (with two dealerships), Lounsbury Furniture (with two stores) and Lounsbury Leasing.
Currently under the leadership of CEO Ed McNally, (who has been working with Lounsbury Group since 1995) Lounsbury continues its diverse business operations and is active in its local communities province-wide.
Smooth roads ahead, 145 years later.
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