Mobile-Optimized Websites Drive Sales for Bluestem Brands
January 31, 2013

Since launching mobile-optimized websites for Fingerhut in May and Gettington in July of last year, Bluestem Brands has seen its mobile traffic increase from 10 percent of overall traffic to nearly 20 percent of overall traffic. Both retailers' sites also saw over 20 percent improvements in conversion rate, pages per visit, average length of visit and revenue per visit.

Customer Dissatisfaction: and
January 2, 2013

Of the two companies with the weakest customer reviews, scored poorly because of subpar website "functionality." As ForeSee Spokesperson Sarah Allen-Short explains, part of the site's low grade can be attributed to the fact that Gilt is a luxury outlet, so consumer expectations are higher. (She notes that and both earned higher scores, at 79 each). Fingerhut, meanwhile, received low marks across the board, underwhelming shoppers in the areas of price, content, functionality and choice of merchandise.

Quad/Graphics Expands Service Footprint With Bluestem Brands
December 13, 2011

Quad/Graphics has signed a multiyear agreement with Bluestem Brands, best known for its growing Fingerhut and brands. The agreement, which will exceed $135 million over its contract term, covers all printing, paper procurement, premedia, and page layout and production services as well as all product photography and video content creation services.

Fingerhut Changes its Name to Bluestem Brands
February 19, 2010

Fingerhut Direct Marketing, Inc. announced today that it has changed its corporate name to Bluestem Brands, Inc.  The renaming of the company signifies the company’s progression from a catalog company to a multi-brand, multi-channel retailer.  Bluestem Brands, Inc. will operate under its two retail brands: Fingerhut and

The Sportsman's Guide Nets its New CEO
June 22, 2009

Redcats USA, a multi-channel, web-driven home-shopping leader, announced today the appointment of Jay Berlin to CEO of The Sportsman’s Guide, one of Redcats USA’s premier sporting goods and leisure brands. He will be a member of the Redcats USA Executive Team.

How the ‘New’ Fingerhut Refurbished its Customer Database
October 23, 2007

When general merchandise cataloger Fingerhut was re-formed in December 2002 after being liquidated earlier that year by former owner Federated Department Stores (now Macy’s), the company’s foundation was its legacy file of customers who were active with the company prior to its closing. Over time, however, as the company grew to more than $300 million in sales as of the end of 2006, Fingerhut had to replenish those names with new ones. Realizing its housefile would dry up fairly quickly, over the next few years Fingerhut actively prospected building predictive models off its legacy file. “Fingerhut had a wealth of information available on

Behind the Direct Marketing Hiring Survey: A Few Final Thoughts From Guest Columnist Jerry Bernhart
July 3, 2007

While I’m working on my report on who owns the Abacus data (see last week’s column) I got this response from Jerry Bernhart, the author of the hiring survey that started the thread regarding hiring practices in the catalog business. So without further ado I turn my column over to Jerry, who’s the president of Bernhart Associates Executive Search.
For the past seven years, Bernhart Associates Executive Search has conducted a survey measuring employment trends in the direct marketing industry. In our most recent survey this past April, we added this new question: How would you characterize the overall ease or difficulty you are

Catalog Success 200
March 1, 2007

Sur La Table 163,680 56,295 191 $85 cookware Mokrynskidirect 12/06 9/05 139,829 51,031 174 $115 pet supplies List Locators 9/06 5/05 & Managers Knit Picks 73,502 27,347 169 $60 crafts Walter Karl 6/06 6/05 Cutter & Buck 70,938 30,555 132 $147 men’s apparel Mokrynskidirect 1/07 1/06 Kinsman Co. 27,090 12,695 113 $83 gardening supplies D-J Associates 12/06 9/05 Fannie May Confections 72,173 34,794 107 $36 candy, chocolates Millard Group 11/06 10/05 Leichtung Workshops 20,312 9,958 104 $52 woodworking tools Names & 9/06 7/05 Addresses Orion Telescopes 33,445 16,849 99 $175 telescopes Millard Group and Binoculars 7/06 7/05 Time for Me 141,411 71,958 97 $95 women’s apparel Mokrynskidirect 1/07 10/05 Siegel Display Products 33,569 17,474 92 $300 promotional display products Direct Media 10/06 10/05 Smith & Hawken 140,722 74,971 88 $125 gardening supplies Belardi/Ostroy ALC 11/06 10/05 Redding Medical 13,689 7,642 79 $95 nursing supplies Fasano and 12/06 8/05 Associates Penn Herb Co. Ltd. 26,459 14,837 78 $54 natural remedies Walter Karl 4/06 5/05 MidWest Edwin Watts Golf 328,416 185,448 77 $250 golf equipment Venture Direct 8/06 5/05 Worldwide Staples 3,843,101 2,183,681 76 $250 office products Direct Media 12/06 11/05 Sporty’s Men’s Collection 12,926 7,368 75.4 N/A men’s recreational products Millard Group 1/07 5/05 New England Business 1,114,626 636,766 75 $120 office products MeritDirect Service (NEBS) 12/06 9/05

How Spiegel Recovered
June 1, 2006

By Paul Miller Fueled with fresh capital, CEO Geralynn Madonna & co. have revived, repositioned and run Spiegel into profitability. Just three years ago, the industry, the financiers and the media (including this writer) had all written off the Spiegel catalog as a soon-to-be goner. The mere notion that it would turn a profit again or even mail again seemed a pipe dream. But having emerged a couple of years ago from near liquidation along with its sister title Newport News, Spiegel now is thriving, having nudged its way into the black a little less than a year ago. "The big story was

Great to Be Back
May 1, 2006

I'm writing this, my first column for Catalog Success, on a train from New York to Philadelphia, a day before formally joining the magazine. Although I'll focus my future Editor's Takes solely on the catalog business, please bear with me this go-round as I reintroduce myself to you all. I started covering the catalog business as a journalist back in 1986. Over the years, I reported on various goings-on in the field, such as the mainstream use of 800 numbers, credit cards, and express delivery; the advent of co-op databases; the rise of Williams-Sonoma, CDW and The Sharper Image; the stunning collapse of