Don’t look for another Good Catalog Co. mailing. CATALOG AGE has learned that parent company Reader’s Digest has terminated the print versions of Good Catalog and Gifts.com.
The URLs, however, still exist—as “virtual brands” run by Monterey, CA-based Altura International, says Bruce Sellers, Altura’s executive vice president of sales and marketing. The two Websites now resemble Altura’s CatalogCity.com, an online catalog mall.
According to Sellers, Reader’s Digest will maintain ownership of the Good Catalog and Gifts.com URLs for the time being. Altura and Reader’s Digest will share revenue, and all merchandise will be supplied by Altura’s network of merchants.
Reader’s Digest had been trying to sell Good Catalog and Gifts.com since the spring, says spokesperson Bill Adler, “but we couldn’t find a buyer. We were winding down the staff and discounting the merchandise when Altura stepped in at the eleventh hour and saved the two brands. We are very happy that service to our customers will not be disrupted.”
Adler admits that Reader’s Digest “hadn’t been able to operate Gifts.com and the Good Catalog profitably.” Though he would not comment on the exact number of layoffs associated with the agreement, he did comment that a staff of three in Portland, OR, will help with the transition.
Reader’s Digest bought Good Catalog in October 1998. It launched Gifts,com as an online-only marketer in October 1999 and debuted the print catalog in November 2001. The magazine and marketing conglomerate then brought Good Catalog under the same management as that of its Gifts.com catalog and online business. Although Reader’s Digest is the majority owner of Gifts.com, Denver-based holding company Star Tech owns a 20% share.