Mark, Fore & Strike Catalog Not Quite Dead

The Mark Group had announced in February that it would stop mailing its Mark, Fore & Strike women’s apparel catalog this summer. But “great” spring sales have given the $125 million multititle mailer second thoughts about shuttering the catalog for good, according to Michael Tiernan, the Mark Group’s president/CEO.

Tiernan says the Boca Raton, FL-based company had decided to fold the Mark, Fore & Strike book so that it could channel more funds into the $75 million Boston Proper women’s apparel division, which will expand to retail late next year (see cover story “Retail Activity Is on a Roll”).

“Our spring numbers look good for the Mark, Fore & Strike catalog,” Tiernan says, “but our decision is that we want to stay focused on growing Boston Proper as a multichannel brand because we feel it has the potential to be a fairly significant-sized business, while Mark, Fore & Strike is a great niche business.” Mark, Fore & Strike targets older, conservative women; Boston Proper is more fashion-forward.

The company, which will continue to operate Mark, Fore & Strike’s 12 stores, mailed its last Mark, Fore & Strike catalog — a sale book — in July. But “we’re not locking the door on the catalog,” Tiernan says, adding that if an investor were to come forward, the company would consider keeping the book going.