Golden Gate Buys Norm Thompson

Share this content:
Multichannel merchant Norm Thompson Outfitters Inc. was acquired by Golden Gate Capital, owner of Spiegel, Newport News, Appleseed's and other catalogs, the San Francisco-based private equity investment firm said yesterday. The sales price was not disclosed.

Norm Thompson's annual sales are $200 million. The acquisition was completed by Golden Gate's portfolio company, Catalog Holdings Inc., which now has annual revenues exceeding $700 million.

Norm Thompson was founded in 1949 and has its headquarters in Hillsboro, OR. Through the brands Norm Thompson, Solutions and Sahalie, it targets the growing baby boomer market with a selection of apparel, accessories, travel items, gourmet foods, household goods and outdoors gear.

"With the addition of Norm Thompson, Solutions and Sahalie, we have significantly increased our offerings to this rapidly growing demographic," Golden Gate Capital managing director Stefan Kaluzny said in a statement. "Furthermore, adding Norm Thompson's three brands to our five existing titles creates ever greater opportunities for each to benefit from the scale and expertise of the group."

Though a well-respected name in the industry, Norm Thompson has faced difficult times lately. The company repositioned its catalog last fall with a wider selection of unique and exclusive items to try to turn around declining response rates, as reported in DM News.

"Escape from the ordinary" has been Norm Thompson's tagline since its inception, but in recent years the company chose to include more value-priced items in an attempt to raise response rates. Instead, "we saw our average order size decline and started to see an erosion in response rates," marketing vice president Craig Dewey said last summer.

The company recommitted itself to offering merchandise that can't be found in the competition or at department stores. Unsurprisingly, price points underwent a concurrent increase. However, the merchant's holiday 2005 response rates and orders were each down 12 percent, according to a March 10 article on the Portland Business Journal's Web site, The article, which predicted Norm Thompson would announce a sale this week, cited e-mails sent to employees by CEO John Emrick and Dewey.

Loading links....

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

We recently were named B2B Magazine's Direct Marketing Agency of the Year, and with good reason: We make real, measureable, positive change happen for our clients. A full-service agency founded in 1974, Bader Rutter expertly helps you get the right message to the right audience at the right time through the right channels. As we engage our clients' audiences along their journey, direct marketing (email, direct mail, phone, SMS) and behavioral marketing (SEM, retargeting, contextual) channels deliver information relevant to the needs of each stage. We are experts at implementing and leveraging marketing technologies such as CRM and marketing automation in order to synchronize sales and marketing communications. Our team of architects and activators plan, execute, measure and adjust in real time to ensure the strategy is working as needed and change things if it's not.

Find out more here »

DMN's Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here