Gump’s Gearing Up for Thanksgiving Debut on QVC

A sure sign that television shopping is finally going a bit more upscale, Gump’s is set to make its debut on the QVC home shopping channel on Thanksgiving Day.

Gumps, which sells high-end gifts and collectibles, hits the QVC airwaves Nov. 27 at 1 p.m. (EST). The company is promoting its latest holiday home decor and accessories line, which as of Thanksgiving will be also available on QVC.com.

QVC makes Gumps’ first foray into TV selling. The multichannel merchant operates one store—a San Francisco landmark since 1861, a print catalog and Website. Multititle mailer Hanover Direct bought Gump’s in 1993. It sold the business to three private equity firms in 2005.

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Gump’s catalog heads west

When Hanover Direct bought upscale gifts cataloger/retailer Gump’s in 1993, it allowed the single Gump’s store in San Francisco operate the catalog for four years. Then in 1997, Hanover moved the Gump’s catalog operation to its Weehawken, NJ, headquarters and ran the book with the rest of its stable of housewares and apparel catalogs. As of Jan. 2, however, Hanover has reversed that decision. The Gump’s catalog operation has been transferred back to the West Coast.

John DiFrancesco, who had been overseeing the Gump’s catalog along with bedding title The Company Store, now runs only the latter. Ron Seely, who had been with the Gump’s catalog in Weehawken, has moved out to San Francisco as Gump’s catalog director. Gump’s Weehawken catalog staff is being “absorbed to other Hanover companies,” DiFrancesco says. “It’s not finalized yet, but nobody’s being let go as of right now.”

The move was made, DiFrancesco says, “because we feel it’ll be more efficient for the brand and allow us to make overseas trips more efficiently, deal more effectively with some of our more common manufacturers, and allow us to reunite the brand, giving the catalog and store more of a common theme. Since 1997, there hasn’t been as close an association between the store and catalog mainly because of the distance.”

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