How Spiegel Recovered
Be involved. Leaders must recognize obstacles and barriers, and help everyone navigate around them.
Be accountable. As a leader, being accountable is critical to your board, as well as to your staff.
Be truthful. Tell people the way it is — good or bad.
1865: Joseph Spiegel, an immigrant and Civil War veteran, opens furniture store Spiegel & Co. in downtown Chicago.
1905: Spiegel mails its first catalog, a 24-page booklet of home furnishings throughout the United States.
1912: Women's apparel enters the catalog mix.
1943: Opens first order-taking call center.
1950s, 60s, 70s: Develops mainstream reputation by supplying TV game shows with prizes "from the Spiegel Catalog, Chicago 60609."
1978: Refocuses on working women by offering new specialty catalogs in addition to its big book.
1982: Bought by Otto Versand.
1988: Acquires Eddie Bauer.
1989: Acquires First Consumers National Bank (credit unit).
1993: Acquires New Hampton Inc. assets, including Newport News catalog.
1995: Launches the Spiegel.com Web site.
2000: Acquires Clifford & Wills catalog.
2002: Stock delisted by NASDAQ.
2003: Promotes Geralynn Madonna to president/CEO of Spiegel and Newport News catalogs.
2003: The Spiegel Group files for Chapter 11.
2003: Shutters hemorrhaging credit unit.
2004: Golden Gate Capital acquires the Spiegel and Newport News titles in conjunction with management.
2005: Spiegel catalog turns a profit.
2005: Re-launches Spiegel catalog Web site.