Knight’s Ltd. Goes Direct

Multititle mailer Knight’s Direct has quietly been making some big changes during the past year. In late December, the tightly held holding company changed its name from Knight’s Ltd. Earlier last year it folded its flagship title, women’s apparel book Knight’s Ltd., and its footwear catalog, Shoe Studio. In addition, it has put one of its women’s clothing catalogs, Papillon, on hold. The St. Louis-based company continues to mail home furnishings catalog Home Decorators Collection, apparel and home products title Soft Surroundings, and women’s clothing book City Spirit.

Knight’s, which was founded in 1979, decided to modify its name from Knight’s Ltd. because “when people here answered the telephone, the name sounded limiting,” says Tom Wilcher, president of the $180 million mailer. As for the catalog closings, “The prospects for mailing Shoe Studio and Knight’s Ltd. weren’t good,” Wilcher explains. “The universe of available names simply wasn’t large enough to make sense to continue.”

The future of the 11-year-old Papillon remains uncertain. Wilcher doesn’t rule out the possibility of selling the title outright. “We had some inquiries,” he says. The last Papillon catalog mailed in late April.

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