Montgomery Ward Catalog Making a Comeback

The venerable Montgomery Ward catalog , with origins dating back to 1872, will soon be back in the mail. It’s new owner — Monroe, WI-based multititle mailer Swiss Colony — plans to drop a new Montgomery Ward catalog in the mail by spring.

Montgomery Ward had been owned by multititle mailer Direct Marketing Services Inc. Midwest Catalog Brands, a subsidiary of Swiss Colony, purchased the bulk of DMSI’s assets for $15.5 million during a public auction last August.

Swiss Colony President John Baumann says the 116-page Montgomery Ward catalog will be printed in February and should be received in home by early to mid-March. “We’re hoping for three to four drops per year.”

Circulation of the revived book will be limited to buyers and some promotions, Baumann explains. Any changes to the book? “A general upgrade of merchandise offerings and appearance of catalog,” he says. “Long term, if we want to grow the business, a successful catalog – one that can support itself – is very important.”

The original Montgomery Ward closed its general merchandise big book catalog in 1985, filed for bankruptcy in 1997 and went out of business in 2000. DMSI, which had acquired Montgomery Ward out of bankruptcy in June 2004, resurrected the title later that year and mailed it until late 2007.