Federated closes Fingerhut deal

Federated Department Stores

on July 24 closed the sale of general merchandise catalog Fingerhut to former Fingerhut chairman Ted Deikel and wholesaler Tom Petters for an undisclosed amount. The sale includes the Fingerhut name, customer lists, software, Website, inventory, the corporate headquarters here, the distribution centers in St. Cloud, MN, and Piney Flats, TN; and the data center in Plymouth, MN.

Deikel said in a statement that he plans to put together “a small team” of former Fingerhut executives to create a new Fingerhut business. For now, however, the remaining 850 Fingerhut workers are in a wind-down stage as Federated employees, and most of them will be laid off as the year progresses, says Fingerhut spokesperson Ben Saukko.

Deikel and Petters haven’t hired any former Fingerhut employees yet. “If they decide to hire back Fingerhut employees,” Saukko says, “it will be a rehire situation, not a retention situation.”

The closing of the deal comes nearly two weeks after Federated sold $1.2 billion in Fingerhut accounts receivable to Atlanta-based CompuCredit Corp. In that deal, CompuCorp. said it would retain the 850 remaining Fingerhut workers in St. Cloud and Monticello, MN, where payments are processed.

As for the Arizona Mail Order, Figi’s, and other Fingerhut catalogs still in operation for Federated, the company continues to negotiate sales of those properties, Saukko says.

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