Miles Kimball Suspends Exposures Homes

Realizing just how different the furniture business is from the novelties, stationery, and picture-frame businesses, multititle mailer Miles Kimball is shuttering its Exposures Homes catalog. Miles Kimball president/CEO Mike Muoio confirmed that the June issue of Exposures Homes was its last. The Oshkosh, WI-based company will continue to mail its core Miles Kimball catalog of gifts and novelties and Exposures, which sells photo albums, frames, and related accoutrements.

“We have suspended [Homes]; ‘discontinued’ may be too harsh a word, because we’ve sort of put it on hold,” Muoio says. “We may do it again in the future, but for now we’re focusing on Exposures and Miles Kimball.” Homes represented less than 10% of Kimball’s roughly $150 million in annual sales.

Homes “was a burden to the organization in terms of consuming warehouse space,” Muoio says, referring to the 450,000-sq.-ft. distribution facility the company built last year. “We weren’t in the furniture business, and it’s a whole lot different from being in the photo album and gifts business. It was getting out of control — picking, packing, shipping, storage, all were challenges to us.”

In addition, the company has cut the circulation of its two other titles 15%-20%. “We’re just making sure we can get everything out of those books,” Muoio says, who adds that the company was “just marginally break even” last year. So far this year, Kimball is running 6%-8% ahead of plan, and Exposures is running close to plan. Muoio is projecting revenue of at least $140 million for the year.

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