Damark's Move to Cut Catalog Proves Profitable

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Damark International's elimination last year of its catalog operations has proved to be a wise move. The company's fourth-quarter results, which were released Friday, exceeded expectations.

Its Provell membership services had a profitable year, with net revenues of $135.9 million compared with $120.7 million in 1999 -- a 12.6 percent increase. Operating income for the year was $27.8 million compared with $26 million in 1999. Cash flow generated also exceeded expectations, totaling $28.8 million compared with $27.5 million in 1999.

Damark, Minneapolis, also is winding down ClickShip Direct, its outsourced fulfillment business.

"The year 2000 was a particularly challenging one for Damark," said Mark Cohen, chairman/CEO of the company. "Our goals were to focus on and separate our membership services business, exit non-member catalog marketing activities and exploit the promise of e-fulfillment with our catalog infrastructure."

With the catalog operations shut down and an expected e-fulfillment wind-down, the company is bringing to a close its history as a direct merchandising company, Cohen said.

In its membership services business, the company manages fee-based programs that provide discounts to its 2 million members for shopping, travel, health and fitness, hotels and entertainment.

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