Smith & Wesson Cancels Home, Women’s Apparel Catalog

About five months after announcing the launch of its Crossings catalog, Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation said yesterday it is discontinuing the business.

It also said it is closing its Scottsdale, AZ, office as well as eliminating the Smith & Wesson Advanced Technologies, or SWAT, division.

The news came the same day that The Wall Street Journal ran a front-page story about Smith & Wesson chairman James Minder, who stepped down last month after it was revealed that he spent the better part of the 1950s and '60s in prison for a string of armed robberies.

The closing of the Scottsdale office and the related staff reductions is expected to result in after-tax savings of $1.3 million annually.

Crossings featured casual apparel, home decor, bedding, jewelry, accessories, holiday items, dinnerware and other items mainly targeting females.

At the time of the catalog’s launch, Amy Armstrong, senior vice president of corporate communications at Smith & Wesson Holding Corp., said that the brand recognition of the Smith & Wesson name would help the company crack the women’s apparel and home furnishings market.

“The name Smith & Wesson opens a lot of doors,” she said last October. “You only associate the company with guns, but this is a great way to extend the brand as being about more than just guns.”

It plans to take a one-time after-tax charge of about $500,000 in the third quarter of fiscal 2004 as a result of severance and other costs related to the Scottsdale office closing. The Crossings catalog business generated an after-tax loss of $600,000 through the third quarter of fiscal 2004. The company is taking a one-time after-tax charge of approximately $100,000 in the third quarter for costs associated with the discontinuance of the operation.

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