White Plains, N.Y.
• BabyUniverse: The marketer of baby products for expectant and experienced parents, BabyUniverse, a member of The Parent Co. family, announced the launch of its new catalog. The 2008 BabyUniverse spring catalog was mailed in April and contains a selection of organic products, nursery designs, baby gear, crafted furnishings, bedding and diaper bags, among other things. All of the product contained in the catalog are hand-picked by the company’s buyers, on-staff moms.
• Lillian Vernon: The multichannel marketer, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February, agreed to be sold in April to stationery and home décor cataloger Current USA, a subsidiary of the Taylor Corp., for $15.8 million. The Colorado Springs, Colo.-based Current plans to continue operations in the Lillian Vernon facility in Virginia Beach, Va.
• Hallmark: The greeting card maker has shuttered its direct-to-consumer flower and gift business after less than three years in operation. The company sold flowers and assorted gifts through catalogs and a Web site. Citing a lack of return on investment, the company believed it was no longer profitable to operate in the direct-to-consumer catalog and online gift business. One hundred jobs were affected by the decision — 65 at the company's headquarters in Kansas City, Mo., and 35 at its distribution center outside Memphis, Tenn.
• Musical Kidz: This company, which produces the Music for Little People catalog, has been acquired by the Trudy Corp., a publisher of children’s books and audiobooks. Trudy is also the parent company of the Studio Mouse, Soundprints and other catalogs. The 20-year-old Music for Little People catalog markets chil-dren’s musical instruments and audio electronics under the brand BeBoP. Leib Ostrow, president of Musical Kidz, will head Trudy’s direct-to-consumer sales unit.
• Southern Fulfillment Services LLC: This company, which owns the Hale Groves catalog of fresh fruit, has acquired Pittman & Davis, a Harlingen, Texas-based fruit gifts multichannel merchant, for an undisclosed amount. The Vero Beach, Fla.-based Southern Fulfillment, which provides fulfilment for other catalogers, plans to continue operating the two catalogs independent of one another.