Gifts and games cataloger Bits and Pieces—one of the casualties of the BlueSky Brands fiasco—has been sold, several sources tell Multichannel Merchant. Terms of the deal are not known, but the buyer is multititle mailer Gardens Alive!
Calls to Gardens Alive! were not returned by press time, but sources say many of the former Bits and Pieces staffers have been hired back. It is not known if the deal includes Bits and Pieces U.K., the British unit that was shuttered when BlueSky Brands stopped operating two months ago.
Bits and Pieces parent company BlueSky Brands shut down on March 14. BlueSky Brands also owned the Paragon Gifts, National Wildlife Direct, and Winterthur catalogs, as well as third-party fulfillment provider AB&C Group.
Despite numerous reports that BlueSky Brands was going to file Chapter 11, there have been no bankruptcy filings for the company. Chicago-based private equity firm Reliant Equity Investors owns BlueSky Brands.
Founded by Niles Kinerk in 1984, Gardens Alive! specializes in products for the biological control of garden pests. Originally called Natural Gardening Research Center, the merchant changed its name to Gardens Alive! in 1988.
Lawrenceburg, IN-based Gardens Alive! also includes the Breck’s, Gurney Seeds, Henry Field’s, Michigan Bulb, and Spring Hill Nurseries horticultural catalogs. It acquired these titles from defunct mailer Foster & Gallagher in 2001.
Bits and Pieces was also founded in 1984 and sold to Paragon in 1997. Blue Sky Brands (via Reliant Equity) acquired Paragon in 2005. A message on the Bits and Pieces Website reads: “Bits And Pieces will be back soon! We are currently under new ownership and we are working diligently to get back up and running. We appreciate your patience and understanding. Please try this site again later.”