The rise and fall of Trend-Lines, a cataloger/retailer of woodworking tools whose sales reached $230 million in the late 1990s, quietly ended on March 25 when longtime intense rival Woodworker’s Supply bought the company’s remains—which had been renamed after its retail arm Woodworkers Warehouse–in a bankruptcy auction for $158,000.
Trend-Lines, which first went bankrupt in 2000, later emerged from bankruptcy reorganization as Woodworkers Warehouse. The revived company, which at its peak operated 125 stores and a mail order business, filed Chapter 11 a second time on Dec. 2, 2003, and began a court-ordered liquidation three days later.
In its former incarnation, Trend-Lines also operated the GolfDay discount golf equipment catalog and retail chain, but closed GolfDay down in 1999.
The Casper, WY-based Woodworker’s Supply bought Woodworkers Warehouse’s 3.1-million name customer database, 700,000 of which are 24-month buyers, according to Woodworker’s Supply president/founder John Wirth, Jr., Ph.D. Woodworker’s Supply also obtained Woodworkers Warehouse’s vendor lists and purchase histories, inventory data, catalog content, catalog photographs, patents, trademarks, and Web domain names.
“We’re going to exploit all the assets we bought,” Wirth says. “We’ll derive revenue from pretty much all the assets, by finding new products, new vendors, better deals with our existing vendors.” He points out, for instance, that he was able to strike co-op deals with some of his existing vendors who had previously offered such deals to Woodworkers Warehouse.