First Resources Ltd., the parent firm of Cotswold, England-based home and garden products cataloger Scotts of Stow, announced on May 25 that it has bought Presents Direct for a “substantial six-figure sum.”
Scotts of Stow group chairman Nigel Swabey said in a statement that this wasn’t the first attempt First Resources has made in acquiring Presents Direct. “Presents Direct has been one of the leading gift catalog brands in the U.K .for a number of years, and when the business was first offered for sale by its founders some six years ago, Scotts of Stow was the unsuccessful underbidder.”
Presents Direct becomes First Resources’s eighth catalog business. The company’s other gifts catalog, The Original Gift Co., distributes 15 million catalogs a year. By acquiring Presents Direct, First Resources gains a customer database that’s “substantially” younger and more urban than that of The Original Gift Co., according to Swabey.
Swabey said that it’s difficult for any English gifts catalog “to achieve critical mass in the context of a home-grown database. With Presents Direct, we have acquired some 272,000 customer records, but as a subsidiary of the First Resources Group, the catalog will be mailed to a very high proportion of the 2 million-plus mail order customers of the group’s seven existing catalog brands.”
First Resources, which also operates the Traditional Garden & Country Home, Traditional Garden Supply Co., Expert Verdict, Natural Linen Chest, and Ancestral Collections catalogs, has temporarily turned off Presents Direct’s Website but intends to relaunch it in September.