Business and Philanthropy to Mark Lillian Vernon Corp.'s 50 Years

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Lillian Vernon Corp. will commemorate its 50th anniversary this month with a host of initiatives.

The Rye, NY, mail-order company will prepare for the upcoming holidays by relaunching the flagship and sites. Company catalogs also have been redesigned to incorporate a new logo.

The company also will update its product offerings with more than 2,200 new consumer products from the United States and overseas added to a 6,000-strong line of offerings.

On the philanthropic side, Lillian Vernon has allied with the Habitat for Humanity to build a house for a deserving family in Virginia. The state is home to the company's national distribution center.

Artifacts reflecting the company's history will be placed in a time capsule buried at this same warehouse. Two flowers that sell in the gardening catalog, the Lillian Vernon Rose and The Real Lily, will be part of this archive.

Lillian Vernon founded the company in 1951. For her first product, Vernon plunked her wedding gift money for selling personalized leather handbags and belts through an advertisement in Seventeen magazine.

Today, the company has eight catalogs, two Web sites, 15 outlet stores, a business-to-business division and 5,300 employees in the peak season. Sales last year were $287 million.

One of the longest-serving CEOs in the United States, Vernon is a member of the Direct Marketing Association Hall of Fame


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