ACQUISITIONS

Nov 01, 2000 10:30 PM  By

Spices Etc. gets Mo Hotta Jim Kelley and his son, Jimmy Kelley Jr., wanted to add some heat to their Savannah, GA-based Spices Etc. catalog business. So in late August, they acquired Mo Hotta Mo Betta, a cataloger of hot sauces.

Jim Kelley says he and his son/ business partner contacted a business broker in June to find a small company to complement their existing catalog. The broker found Tim and Wendy Eidson, the owners of Mo Hotta Mo Betta, and facilitated the deal. The Eidsons will stay involved with the production of the catalog and the Website on a freelance basis.

Spices Etc. closed Mo Hotta’s San Luis Obispo, CA, offices; fulfillment will be handled at Spices Etc.’s Savannah facility. “Right now the businesses will operate in tandem, but marketing will be done separately for each individual book,” the elder Kelley says.

While he plans to add more products to Mo Hotta’s offerings and place a greater emphasis on its private-label line of sauces, Kelley does not intend to have Mo Hotta expand into new product categories. Rather, he hopes to keep duplication of products between the two titles to a minimum.

Under Spices Etc.’s auspices, Mo Hotta will continue to use fanciful cartoon covers and art throughout the book. In fact, Spices Etc. is taking a page from Mo Hotta, so to speak, by upgrading its paper stock to the same paper used by the hot sauce mailer.

Even before the holiday season geared up in earnest, catalogers began promoting discounts, free gifts, and deferred billing in their early fall editions. Among purveyors of greeting cards, discounts of up to 50% to promote early ordering were standard. Sellers of gifts and knickknacks, on the other hand, preferred to offer free merchandise with orders of a certain size.

- Bath & Body Works (personal care products): $5 off purchases of $50 or more; $10 off purchases of $100 or more.

- Brookhaven Collection (greeting cards): 50% off orders placed by Dec. 8.

- CDW (computers): free CDW Mouse V2.0 with orders of at least $300 placed by Sept. 12.

- Designers Platinum Series (greeting cards): 50% off orders placed by Dec. 2; 40% off orders placed by Dec. 9

- Disney Store (gifts): free standard shipping on any order of more than $50 purchased by Oct. 1.

- Girlfriends L.A. (teen girls’ apparel): free regular shipping on online orders of more than $60 placed by Oct. 1; free Girlfriends Lunch Bag with purchase of $80 or more.

- Gold Violin (gifts): free standard ground shipping through Dec. 31.

- Greenwoods Collection (greeting cards): 50% off orders placed by Nov. 22; 40% off orders placed Nov. 23-Dec. 8; free attache worth $29.99 with orders of at least $100.

- Harriet Carter (gifts and housewares): free Love Knot Heart Lapel Pin with order of $15 or more.

- Lillian Vernon (gifts and housewares): free votive holder with order of more than $40; order by Nov. 1 and billing is deferred until Jan. 15.

- Life/style Nordstrom (women’s apparel): register at nordstrom.com and receive $10 off next online order of at least $20 made by Oct. 31.

- Mac Zone (computers): free scooter (“while supplies last!”) worth $80 with purchase of IMAC DV, IMAC VD SE, New Power Mac G4/400, or Final Cut Pro 1.2.

- Miles Kimball (gifts and housewares): free Snowman Tote with orders of at least $30 placed by Oct. 1.

- New Braunfels Smokehouse (food): free ring of Bismarkian Summer Sausage with every order of at least $40 placed by Dec. 1.

- Paper Direct (specialty papers): free ground shipping through Nov. 6; 30% off holiday cards ordered by Oct. 16.

- R.C. Steele (pet supplies): free personalized dog or cat collar with any order of at least $100 placed by Oct. 15.

- Stratford Hall (greeting cards): 50% off orders placed by Nov. 11.

- Terry’s Village (gifts): free ground delivery on orders of at least $50 placed by Sept. 19; deferred billing until Jan. 1, 2001, for orders of at least $75 placed by Sept. 19.