Hoping to create a more positive identity, Carter Hawley Hale Stores Inc. on Wednesday said it will change its corporate name to Broadway Stores Inc., pending shareholder approval.
The change would allow the Los Angeles-based retailer to link its corporate identity more closely to its store operations, said David Dworkin, the company’s president and chief executive. The Broadway is Carter Hawley’s largest chain, accounting for 52 of its 83 stores. The names of the company’s other two chains, Emporium and Weinstocks, would not be affected.
The new name would “accompany the new sense of revitalization” at the company, Dworkin said.
Carter Hawley has changed some of the Broadway’s merchandise mix and is remodeling many of its stores in a bid to boost sales and sustain a recovery that began when the corporation emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in 1992. Burdened by debt and hobbled by weak industrywide sales, Carter Hawley--then led by Philip Hawley--filed for bankruptcy protection in 1991.
Hawley retired as chairman and chief executive in October, 1992, after 20 years in top positions at the company. The corporation’s name was changed from Broadway-Hale Stores to Carter Hawley Hale in 1974 to reflect the leadership roles of then-Chairman Edward W. Carter and then-President Hawley.
Philip Hawley was not available for comment.
“The name Carter Hawley Hale does not have a very positive reputation because of the company’s downhill ride during the last few years of Phil Hawley’s stewardship,” said Kurt Barnard, a New York-based retail economist. “Dworkin is trying to cast out the debris of the past and set the company on a new road.”
Shareholders will vote on the proposal at the company’s June 17 annual meeting.