Faith Mountain folds catalog

Three years’ worth of red ink led apparel and home goods marketer Faith Mountain Co. to exit the catalog business, CATALOG AGE has learned. Rather than filing for bankruptcy, however, the Sperryville, VA-based marketer is living off the business generated by its lone store, which as of the beginning of April is now housing the company’s entire operations.

“Our plan is if we can raise some financing, we’ll reenter the catalog business,” says president/CEO John Lappegaard. Faith Mountain’s last catalog mailed during the holiday 2001 season. The company sold its fulfillment center in Sperryville, VA, in the fall, then leased the space through this past March.

At its peak, in 1999, the company reached $20 million in sales. But even then it wasn’t profitable. “As a consequence,” Lappegaard says, “the company has had no access to financing in the sense of a working capital line. That became too constraining, and I didn’t see how we could be profitable in the catalog business in the short term.”

Lappegaard says that the company is operating as a one-store business with 15 employees now, one-fifth the number of employees it had as a catalog business. He won’t reveal the current sales volume. Faith Mountain’s Website will probably be discontinued later this month. Most of the catalog merchandise either has been liquidated or is being sold in the store.

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