Industry Eye: Catalogers’ Updates & People on the Move
• ARAMARK, parent company of safety equipment and apparel catalog Galls, was acquired in August by an investor group led by ARAMARK CEO Joseph Neubauer. The deal, valued at $8.3 billion, is expected to close in late 2006 or early 2007.
• Multititle cataloger Swiss Colony in August acquired Ashro Lifestyles, an apparel and accessories catalog catering to African American women. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
• Multititle cataloger Spiegel Brands acquired in September Carabella Corp., parent company of swimsuit and evening wear catalogs Carabella and A.B. Lambdin. The acquisition adds the two brands to the growing number of catalog titles owned by Speigel parent Golden Gate Capital. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
• Licensed sports collectibles marketer Collectible Concepts Group in August debuted a catalog for its Sports Memories in Wood brand. The 12-page book features laser-engraved wooden collectibles.
• Furniture manufacturer Bassett Furniture launched a consumer catalog in August. The company produced 1.2 million copies of the 84-page book that it plans to mail as well as make available in 48 of its 136 retail stores.
• Multichannel home furnishings merchant Restoration Hardware in September launched Brocade Home, a catalog focused on broader value home furnishings that are more ornamental than Restoration Hardware’s traditional offerings. The company also aims to launch the Restoration Hardware Gift Catalog this holiday season.
• Golfsmith International Holdings entered the tennis market in August with the launch of Center Court. The 68-page book features tennis apparel, footwear and accessories, as well as emerging tennis racquet technologies.
• The Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service in September said that if the Postal Rate Commission approves its proposal for an overall 3.2 percent rate increase — including a 9 percent jump in standard mail rates (including most catalogs) — the new rates will take effect next May.
• Multibrand women’s apparel merchant Talbots in August said it would close its Hingham, Mass.-based call center as part of a restructuring process following the company’s May acquisition of J. Jill. The action eliminates 150 call center positions.
• Multi-title cataloger Redcats USA has changed the name of its Lerner Catalog to metrostyle. A metrostyle-titled Web site for the women’s apparel brand has been in place since May, although the Lerner print catalog name won’t be completely phased out until the end of the year.
People on the Move
Galls: Jenny Super joined this multichannel safety equipment and apparel merchant as VP of marketing. She previously worked at the Hershey Direct and Wolferman’s catalogs.
Blair Corp.: Adelmo Lopez has been appointed CFO/COO for this multichannel apparel and home products merchant. He previously was at Russell Corp., where he served as group general manager for the athletic apparel and activewear manufacturer. Audrey Garrett also has joined Blair as SVP of marketing development. Most recently president of her own consulting firm, she’s served in executive positions at Office Depot, Skinstore.com and jewelry cataloger/syndicator Seta Corp.
Benchmark Brands: Stanley Payson was hired as VP of IT for the parent company of the FootSmart and WalkSmart catalogs. He joins the company from Federated Department Stores, where he was director of IT for After Hours Formalwear. Also, Neil Cohen recently joined the company as VP of human resources. He previously served in executive positions at Treadways Corp. and Mothers Work.
Experian: Kevin Mc-Shane has been named managing VP of sales for this information solutions company’s marketing services division. He previously served as SVP of multichannel retail sales at BeNow, a database marketing firm. Kim Johnson has been promoted to the position of VP of catalog services.