Damark Outsources Catalog Merchandising

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Damark International Inc., Minneapolis, said this week that it will begin outsourcing its catalog merchandising and marketing to focus on operating its membership club activities and on providing outsourced customer service and fulfillment to e-commerce companies.


The revamp will include laying off 100 salaried and 50 hourly employees, including the employees at the Brooklyn Center call center, which will be shuttered.


The company, which employs about 1,800 people, also said it would rename its membership club business as Insyte Inc. and its e-commerce fulfillment and service business as ClickShip Direct Inc. George Richards, Damark's president and chief operating officer, will be CEO of Insyte, and Mark Cohn, chairman/CEO of Damark, will be CEO of ClickShip Direct.


Damark mails about 150 million catalogs a year and operates several shopping clubs, which serve about 1.7 million members. The company also reported profits of $1.24 million on revenues of $431 million for the year ended Dec. 31, vs. losses of about $20 million on revenues of $484 million in the preceding year. The 1999 revenues included $138.2 million from the membership club business, $292.8 million from retail sales and $17.1 million from e-commerce.
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