St. Louis-based multititle mailer Knight’s Direct, which mails the Home Decorators Collection and Soft Surroundings books, will discontinue mailing women’s apparel catalog City Spirit at the end of the year.
Within a little more than a year, the privately held Knight’s will have gone from producing six titles to two. In 2001, the company folded its flagship catalog, women’s apparel book Knight’s Ltd., and its Shoe Studio footwear book. It subsequently closed another of its women’s clothing catalogs, Papillon. While Soft Surroundings sells some sleepwear and loungewear, it focuses largely on bedding and spa items. Home Decorators Collection sells home furnishings.
Most of City Spirit’s 200 employees will be transferred to other divisions within Knight’s. But Knight’s executive vice president Lisa Brougham says that about 10 employees in the merchandising, creative, and production departments will be laid off.
The City Spirit catalog accounted for only 9% of Knight’s total sales, which last year were nearly $170 million. “We haven’t been able to turn that business around,” Brougham says. While she adds that the company “was happy with City Spirit’s sales,” Knight’s felt that the more robust Home Decorators Collection and Soft Surroundings titles “were a better return on resources.”
City Spirit will continue mailing through the holiday season. A final, clearance catalog edition will mail in January.