Report: Montgomery Ward May Bring Back Catalog

Milwaukee Montgomery Ward may give its catalog business another shot, starting as soon as January, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Last week, Swiss Colony’s Midwest Catalog Brands division bought the rights to the Montgomery Ward catalog and online business from Chicago-based Direct Marketing Services Inc. for $15.5 million, the report said. The price includes two other businesses: Charles Keath, a home-furnishings catalog and Internet business, and online retailer HomeVisions.

The sites are currently down while Swiss Colony integrates their operations into the systems at the company’s headquarters. This could take up a few weeks to complete, the report said.

Montgomery Ward shut its doors in 2001 because of sinking sales. In 2004, however, Direct Marketing Services bought the rights to the brand and relaunched the business as a catalog and Web site.

Direct Marketing Services faced rising costs for postage, ink and paper at a time when the company was trying to expand its business in a slowing economy, the report said, citing Swiss Colony Inc. president John Baumann.

Baumann plans to run the three recently acquired businesses using his existing staff, the report said.