Reader's Digest Shuts Two Catalogs

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Following unsuccessful efforts to sell Good Catalog Co. and Gifts.com, Reader's Digest eliminated both catalogs.


"They had been for sale, and nothing came of it," Reader's Digest spokesperson Bill Adler said. "The revenue had been slowly improving and the costs had been going down, but we never got quite to the break-even point. For Reader's Digest, these businesses are not related to our other businesses. It proved to be a difficult space."


Through a deal with Altura International, Monterey, CA, Reader's Digest will lease the URLs and Web sites to Altura, which will provide merchandise.


"We used an investment banker to try to find interested parties and nothing led to an agreement, and we made the decision to wind the businesses down in May and close the sites at the end of July," he said. "When the properties were not sold, the decision was made to discount the remaining inventory. But the Web versions are getting a new lease on life because Altura signed an 11th-hour agreement within the last three weeks to continue the sites."


The most recent versions of both books mailed in the spring. Reader's Digest bought Good Catalog, a home and gifts catalog, in October 1998. It started Gifts.com as an online-only marketer in October 1999 and produced its first print catalog in winter 2000-01.


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