Smithsonian direct business relaunched

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The Smithsonian relaunched its catalog and online store on August 4 after being closed for four months.

Smithsonian's direct business shut down this spring when the distribution center it was using through third-party fulfillment provider AB&C Group unexpectedly ceased all operations. AB&C Group was a division of BlueSky Brands, which abruptly went out of business in March.

The Smithsonian recently selected outsourcing fulfillment provider Stark Bro's Fulfillment Services to operate its catalog and online store. Stark will operate the Smithsonian's warehouse and distribution center, call center, mail processing center and customer service center. Stark will process all orders, ship merchandise and provide customers with any other shopping services.

The Smithsonian Catalogue was launched as an insert in Smithsonian magazine in 1974 and evolved into a stand-alone catalog in 1977. An e-commerce Web site, www.SmithsonianStore.com, was launched in 2002. The catalog offers merchandise inspired by the collections of the institution, including jewelry, clothing, furniture and household accessories. Revenue from the Smithsonian catalog and its Web site support the institution's exhibitions and public programs.

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