Ambitious expansion plans for M. S. Ginn and Co., Washington biggest office supply and service firm, were outlined at Ginn's annual meeting yesterday by chairman M. S. Marshall.
He said Ginns will move and expand its office furniture business, hopes to break into the Philadelphia market, and is studying building a new corporate headquarters.
"I see the Washington area doing nothing but growing," he said. "I see government proliferating, therefore I see Ginns healthy."
The company's first mail-order catalog, 150,000 copies were sent out last month, is already producing twice the orders expected, Marshall said.
Ginns' distribution center is now working two shifts, its wood furniture manufacturing plant has a better than 60-day backlog of work, and the companys first major overseas contract is in the works.
Thouth the company's sales and profits for the latest quarter were both up 20 per cent, the need for cash for expansion precludes an increase in the dividend in the next year, he told stockholders.
But he said another stock dividend - Ginns has paid three in three years - is possible because the shares are undervalued.
Next Spring Ginns' office furniture showerooms, will move from 1210 18th St. N.W. to 19th and L where it will occupy the entire second floor and an 800-square-foot entry foyer on the first floor.
Ginns will concerntrate on top quality, top price office furniture, he said. "The least expensive chair and desk we sell will be the most expensive at what we call Brand X" - the D&F division of the Macke Company.
Having expanded south to Richmond and north to Baltimore. Ginns now wants to move into the Philadelphia market. An attempt to acquire a Philadelphia firm has been snagged by legal problems, Marshall explained.
A new corporate nameplate replacing the M.S. Ginn and Company name with the shorter "Ginns" will go onto all oeprations in coming months. Marshall said. he discussed these developments in other divisions of the diversified company:
Retail sales in September were the higher ever. Ginns retail sales are growing twice as fast as the total Washington retail market. The Muth division, which supplies engineers and architects, will be integrated with Ginns. A new shore in the Tysons Corner area is planned.
The office services division, described as "very, very profitable," expects to do more than refinishing office furniture on the site.
Diversification into hospital furniture sales, materials handling equipment and related lines will continue.