Fingerhut Readies First 2 Catalogs of 2003

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Fingerhut will mail two catalogs in January targeting different segments of the house file of Fingerhut Direct Marketing, Minnetonka, MN.


The first will mail Jan. 13, followed by the second Jan. 27.


The first book will consist of "about 200 pages," spokesperson Mary Pernula said. "It will be pretty close to the last one [regarding the] number of items [in the catalog. It will include] most general-merchandise categories, including consumer electronics and housewares."


The second catalog, with items priced below $125, will include about 100 pages and have the same merchandise categories as the early January book.


"They are different books, but we won't get into specifics about the lists," said Pernula, who would only say that millions of each book would mail.


The company's holiday 2002 issue, which dropped Nov. 9, was the first book mailed since FAC Acquisitions, whose principals are Ted Deikel and Tom Petters, bought Fingerhut from Federated Department Stores in July.


About 160 temporary and permanent workers were hired in St. Cloud, MN, to handle holiday orders. Pernula said she did not know how many would remain after the holidays and added that it was too early to determine holiday sales results.


She described the outlook for 2003 as cautiously optimistic.


"The schedule [for the printing and mailing of new catalogs] will depend on results, but we expect them to go out at least quarterly and perhaps more often," she said. "But if the results don't come in, we won't keep mailing. Everything depends on results. We're expecting things to go well."


She also said the company is pleased with the results of the recently launched fingerhut.com.


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