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08/05/2021

Former head of Sam’s Club store brands to lead Conn’s Home Plus

Chandra Holt has been appointed CEO, president of Conn’s; the chain launched its first private brand early this year.
Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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Conn’s Home Plus, a specialty furniture, electronics and home office retailer, has hired a former store brands exec at Sam’s Club to be its chief executive officer.

Chandra Holt has been named to the position, effective Aug. 9, heading up the retailer based in Woodlands, Texas, operating more than 150 locations in 15 states. In January, the chain introduced its first private label brand Dreamspot, an exclusive mattress line.

a woman wearing a purple shirt
Chandra Holt

Holt has held a variety of positions at Sam’s Club, including leading its private brand program and serving as chief operating officer of the club. Most recently she had been overseeing Walmart’s multi-billion dollar U.S. e-commerce business, delivering more than 70% growth in fiscal year 2021. Before that, at Walmart, she served as chief merchandising and integration officer of Walmart.com, overseeing the integration of Walmart’s stores and e-commerce merchandising divisions during the retailer’s first omni-merchandising integration.

Prior to Walmart, Holt spent time with Walgreens and Target.

In addition to being named CEO and president of Conn’s, Holt will join the board of directors, increasing the number of directors to nine. Bob Martin, lead independent director of Conn’s board of directors, said Holt’s track record of innovation and experience servine an omni-channel consumer brings a modern digital approach to the company.

Holt succeeds Norm Miller, who will transition to the role of executive chairman.

“Today’s announcement is the result of the board’s succession planning and Norm’s leadership over the past six years,” Martin said. “During his tenure as chief executive officer, Norm successfully turned around our financial results, building a disciplined and sophisticated credit platform, refocused our retail strategy and assembled a best-in-class leadership team while driving record profitability.”

Conn’s categories of focus are the furniture and mattress business, home appliances, consumer electronics and home office items. The retailer operates in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

Holt said of her new role ahead: “I am honored to be appointed chief executive officer and president of Conn’s at such an exciting time for the company. Conn’s enjoys a differentiated value proposition focused on providing consumers with high-quality, name brand products for the home with affordable financing. I believe Conn’s is well-positioned to continue to grow, innovate and capitalize on an enormous market opportunity. I am committed to continuing to serve Conn’s customers through a combination of retail innovation and best-in-class credit offerings, and I am excited to lead Conn’s through the next chapter of the company’s 131-year history.”