Swiss Colony division buys Montgomery Ward

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Midwest Catalog Brands Inc., a subsidiary of The Swiss Colony Inc., has acquired, through a foreclosure sale, Montgomery Ward and certain other assets of Direct Marketing Services Inc. (DMSI).

Montgomery Ward closed its catalog and retail operations in 2001 due to falling sales. DMSI purchased much of the brand's intellectual property assets in 2001. Montgomery Ward was founded as America's first mail order catalog business in 1872 by Aaron Montgomery Ward

The purchase of the Montgomery Ward brand is consistent with The Swiss Colony's efforts to build stronger Internet-based businesses, according to John Baumann, president of The Swiss Colony. “It is extremely difficult to grow consumer catalog businesses today. We're finding that more consumers are using Internet search engines for shopping or are visiting name brand sites,” he said in a statement. “Although the Ward brand needs to be rebuilt, it does have strong recognition among consumers.”

The acquisition also includes the Charles Keath and HomeVisions catalog and Internet properties.

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