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Hanover Direct shifts focus to core catalogs

WEEHAWKEN, NJ -After only a month of tenure as president and ceo of Hanover Direct, Tom Shull attempted to apply the brakes to the slide the catalog and Internet company had been on the past several years, announcing that the company will concentrate on several brands and cut others, and reduce 285 full-time positions across all business units.

Attempting to streamline the business, the company will focus on the core brands, including the major home textiles catalogs The Company Store and Domestications, as well as Improvements, a do-it-yourself home improvement catalog, and Silhouettes, an apparel catalog for larger women.

Doomed to extinction were Turiya, the high-end luxury home fashions catalog born in 1999, as well as the catalogs Kitchen and Home as well as Kitchen and Garden, though the company said that it will incorporate some of the product offerings within continuing catalogs. Turiya was previously headed by Farley Nachemin until last September, when Hanover Direct named him vp and gmm for its Gump's by Mail catalog.

Additionally, the company terminated its marketing agreement with Compagnie de la Chine and will close certain outlets, as well as close the Always In Style business.

The company's Internet arm was also affected. erizon Inc., which includes Keystone Internet Services, which provided Internet services to fledgling e-tailers and serviced the logistical, IT and fulfillment needs of the Hanover Brands Inc., expected to close its leased fulfillment and telemarketing facility in Maumelle, AR, by the end of March. It will consolidate the Maumelle operations within remaining facilities, mostly with its existing operation in Hanover, PA. erizon will also immediately cease operations associated with the Desius business.

"The actions announced today," said Shull in a statement, "direct the company's resources primarily towards continued profitable growth in Hanover Brands...while reducing costs in all areas of the business and eliminating investment activities that have not yet generated sufficient revenue to produce profitable returns."

Hanover Brands estimates fourth quarter sales of approximately $179.2 million, a 13.5 percent increase over the same period for 1999.

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