Genesco Inc. is an American publicly owned specialty retailer of branded footwear and accessories and is a wholesaler of branded and licensed footwear based in Nashville, Tennessee. Through its various subsidiaries, Genesco operates more than 1,475 retail stores throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland and wholesales branded and licensed footwear to more than 1,050 retail accounts. Founded as the Jarman Shoe Company in 1924 as a footwear manufacturer, the company changed its name to the General Shoe Company in 1931 and became a public company in 1939. The company took its current name, Genesco, in 1959. Genesco exited footwear manufacturing in 2002 and now contracts with independent, third parties located outside the United States to manufacture its branded and licensed footwear. In June 2011, Genesco acquired U.K. retail chain and web business Schuh. This was seen as a huge step for the business as it gave them an already well-established grounding in a market outside of the U.S. James Franklin Jarman, J.H. Lawson and William Hatch Wemyss, all former salesmen for Carter Shoe Co. in Nashville, founded Jarman Shoe Company in 1924 as a footwear manufacturer. The company grew rapidly and took the name General Shoe Company in 1931. General Shoe Company's initial public stock offering took place in 1939.