Zinman fur stores stretch to 7 locations

Posted: September 27, 2003

Zinman, an 83-year-old furrier that has been expanding its merchandise lines into other types of outerwear, has acquired a Montgomeryville fur business and expects to close on the purchase of a Northeast Philadelphia furrier on Monday, company officials said yesterday.

With the acquisitions, Zinman will have seven locations, compared with three in March 2002, said JoAnn Morgan, Zinman president and chief executive officer.

This summer, Zinman bought Lichtenstein Furs on Route 309 in Montgomeryville from its owners, Sam and Lynne Lichtenstein. The firm, which sold, cleaned, repaired and stored fur products, had been owned by the Lichtenstein family since 1947, a Zinman spokeswoman said.

Next week, Zinman is scheduled to acquire Zhivago, a furrier at 7049 Castor Ave. in Philadelphia that has been in business less than a year and a half, Morgan said.

In the last year, Zinman also bought two of the Philadelphia area's oldest and best-known furriers, Tarnapol Furs of Bala Cynwyd and Ott's Furs of Malvern. The operations of those businesses were merged into Zinman's other stores.

All of the businesses Zinman has bought are privately held. The company would not reveal terms of the transactions or its revenues.

Zinman, founded in 1920 as Zinman's Furs, has its headquarters and main store on Admiral Wilson Boulevard in Pennsauken, and other stores in Ardmore, Marlton and Wayne. By mid-October, it plans to open a seventh store in Northfield, N.J., Morgan said.

Zinman has expanded its products beyond the traditional fur coat into a variety of fur, leather and shearling coats, jackets and accessories for the fashion conscious, Morgan said. The company also sells Lagos jewelry and provides services for fur owners, including storage and cleaning, she said.

Tom Sullivan, editor of Fur World, a New York trade magazine, said Zinman's diversification of its product line stands out in an industry that has been dominated by small, family-owned businesses that have largely stuck to selling just traditional fur coats.

Zinman is "doing very well," Sullivan said. "Fur is incredibly popular as fashion, but a lot of old-line furriers have not risen to the occasion."

Contact Tom Belden at 215-854-2454 or tbelden@phillynews.com.

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