Blyth Turns Focus to DM

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In a move intended to bolster its direct-to-consumer businesses, home décor marketer Blyth Inc. said yesterday that it will spin off its wholesale group.


"Following the spin-off, we at Blyth will be able to sharpen our focus further on our core direct selling and catalog and Internet businesses," Blyth chairman/CEO Bob Goergen said in a statement.


The Greenwich, CT-based company published six catalog titles in 2004 with a total circulation of more than 125 million. Blyth's catalog brands include Miles Kimball, which offers value-priced gifts and was acquired in 2003. That same year, Blyth also acquired Walter Drake. Another title, Colonial Candle, was launched in November 2004. Rounding out the list of titles are The Home Marketplace and Directions.


The company's direct-selling division consists of the brands PartyLite and Purple Tree.


In fiscal 2005, Blyth's catalog/Internet division's sales totaled $194 million compared to $736 million for the direct selling business. The wholesale division brought in $720 million.


The planned spin off will create a publicly traded wholesale decorative home expressions business with 3,200 employees and estimated revenues of $700 million for the fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2006, according to the company. The transaction is expected to be completed next year.


Chantal Todé covers catalog and retail news and BTB marketing for DM News and DM News.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters
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