Fingerhut relaunched for holidays
By Andrea Lillo -- Home Textiles Today, 11/11/2002 12:00:00 AM
Less than a year after Federated Department Stores announced that it would dispose of the Fingerhut division, and only a few months after wholesaler Tom Petters and former ceo Ted Deikel purchased the assets, the new 216-page book for the fall/winter season was mailed out on Nov. 9.
In addition, the website is set to go online within 30 days.
"We have faced many challenges in getting this done in a very short time," said Ted Deikel, chairman of Fingerhut Direct Marketing. "I am very pleased to announce the launch of the new Fingerhut, which includes a fourth-quarter catalog and Fingerhut.com."
The company remains cautious, however, in light of the current business climate, as well as the fact that the last Fingerhut catalog mailed a year ago. The company will ramp up business over the next few months, based on the initial response of the publication.
"We have been working around the clock to provide the new Fingerhut catalog, just in time for holiday shopping," said Megan Kavanaugh, executive vp.
However, the catalog's frequency has not been determined yet. "We're mailing one catalog out to test the waters," said Mary Pernula, spokeswoman. She would also not disclose circulation numbers, though she said a lot of former Fingerhut customers would be among those receiving the catalog.
The initial catalog focuses on general merchandise and will include home textiles, though Pernula declined to compare previous catalogs to the latest edition, since this catalog is a new undertaking.
"We're starting fresh and moving forward," she said.
And though the company is new, the name will remain the same. "There's a lot of equity in the [Fingerhut] name," she added.
The company also said that Petters and Deikel, who have both relocated their offices to the former Fingerhut headquarters in Minnetonka, MN, are committed to St. Cloud as the base for fulfillment operations, which includes Fingerhut Direct Marketing and other Deikel/Petters-owned business entities. Many positions have been filled in St. Cloud and Minnetonka, the company said, and more are expected to be posted as new and related business is redirected to St. Cloud. The new venture is also in talks with the former Fingerhut union, UNITE.
In July, Federated Department Stores closed the transaction to sell various Fingerhut assets to FAC Acquisitions, in which Petters and Deikel are principals. Assets included the distribution center and other facilities in St. Cloud, the corporate headquarters, the data center in Plymouth, MN, the distribution center in Piney Flats, TN, and the Fingerhut name, customer lists, website and existing inventory, as well as other miscellaneous property and equipment.
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