Sunday, December 10, 2006

Montgomery Ward is back (kinda)

I've always been fascinated by the efforts of companies to buy up and resurrect dead brands. Quite often it seems to work, and a Chicago company that specializes in the field has brought back one of retailing's most famous names, Montgomery Wards.

Wards is back only as a cataloguer and Internet site, however -- there are no stores and apparently no plans to build any.
Milgrom has built a $160 million-a-year company through a strategy of acquiring older, established domain and catalog names. A former lighting products supplier to Sears, Roebuck and Co.'s home furnishings catalog, he licensed the right to use Sears' name on catalogs after founding the firm in 1993 and now mails several Sears specialty titles, gifts book Charles Keath, its core HomeVisions catalog and Wards.
I was impressed with the way they have captured Wards' look and feel on the website, which looks just like an old Wards circular. Apparently, it's working.

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