Montgomery Ward catalog is in homes for the holidays

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In response to customer requests, America's first catalog brand Montgomery Ward has brought back its holiday catalog.

This comes after cataloger Direct Marketing Services Inc. acquired the rights to the Montgomery Ward name and revived the business in late 2004.

"We knew the name had staying power and customers are reading into the brand so we decided to bring it back," said David Milgrom, president/CEO at Direct Marketing Services, Chicago. "There were lots of the original Ward's distributors and employees here in Chicago, so it made sense."

The 148-page catalog dropped this week and includes indoor and outdoor holiday décor, gift ideas, as well as furniture, bedding, electronics and jewelry. Consumer names were generated through renting lists and through opt-in clients on the Web sites.

The catalog has already begun driving sales through the catalog, telephone and on the Web site at www.wards.com. The site includes more than 45,000 products online like home furnishings and textiles for the whole family, as well as décor and electronics. Top sellers include leather coasts, exercise equipment and kitchen appliances.

In addition to the main site, Montgomery Wards Kids debuted in June at www.wardskids.com.

Other marketing efforts from the retailer include an online promotion where consumers can share favorite memories of Montgomery Ward moments online at www.wards.com/memories and enter for a chance to win $100 and $500 gift cards.

As the holidays approach, the retailer has high hopes.

"We had a pretty decent year last year and we weren't even marketing to the holiday traffic," Mr. Milgrom said. "This year we expect to see high traffic because people know the brand to supply quality products."

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