Rue de France Meets End of Road

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The Rue de France catalog issue that mailed at the end of June was the last version of the book created in 1982 by Pam Kelly. It marketed bedding and home furnishings inspired by the decor of the French countryside.


Parent company Direct Holdings Worldwide pulled the plug on Rue de France in an effort to focus on Lillian Vernon and Time Life, which it acquired in January.


"Lillian Vernon and Time Life dwarf Rue de France in size and market potential," Lillian Vernon spokesperson David Hochberg said in explaining the move.


Rue de France was acquired in 2000 by Lillian Vernon Corp. In 2001, its annual circulation was nearly 2 million. The catalog was published four times yearly, and the average order was $180. The primary audience was women 40 and older with children.


Direct Holdings is exploring alternatives regarding the Rue de France file, including selling it or using it for another marketing initiative. The file "is still a valuable asset," Hochberg said.


Kelly, who is president of Rue de France, will stay with Direct Holdings through the transition and possibly longer.


The Rue de France brand includes a store in Newport, RI, and an outlet store in Portsmouth, NH.


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