Women’s apparel and gifts cataloger The Last Best Place has ceased mailing and is looking for a buyer. The eight-year-old company closed its Website and mailed its last books in early August.
Vice president Jeanne Sheldon says the Cincinnati-based company is putting its house file and intellectual property on the block. As for its inventory, Last Best Place was considering selling it with its other assets or liquidating the merchandise before Christmas.
Last Best Place founder/president Lucinda Heekin blames the company’s demise on high postage and fulfillment costs. When Catalog Age spoke to Heekin in June, she was searching for a buyer or a strategic partner to help amortize its printing and fulfillment costs.
MORE CLOSINGS LIKELY Unfortunately, Last Best Place is not likely to be the only small cataloger to fall victim to rising costs and a faltering economy. “Specialty books are going to struggle, especially if they’re not totally differentiated,” predicts Jack Schmid, president of Shawnee Mission, KS-based catalog consultancy J. Schmid & Associates. “I think that’s what happened in the case of Last Best Place. It sold what I call resortwear that gets to be a bit on the luxury side, and it didn’t have enough of a name to compete with a J. Jill or a Boston Proper.”