ST. CLOUD (AP) -- A skeleton crew is on hand at Fingerhut Direct Marketing's distribution center here to handle the first incoming orders as the former Fingerhut catalog business resumes under new ownership.
Twin Cities businessmen Tom Petters and Ted Deikel bought the Fingerhut brand, its customer databases and its distribution center in St. Cloud in July and the first new 216-page catalogs were mailed last weekend to former Fingerhut customers around the country.
It had been six months since the last customer placed an order with Fingerhut. The catalog and Internet retailer shut down in the spring and laid off almost all of its Minnesota workforce, which numbered 4,700 at the start of the year.
A spokeswoman for the Deikel-Petters group said the new Fingerhut's product line and selection closely resemble the previous merchandise.
Company officials wouldn't comment on how quickly and how large the new Fingerhut might grow. But Deikel said recently that the company may initially hire up to 60 employees as operations get under way.
St. Cloud Mayor John Ellenbecker called the new catalog an important trial balloon.
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