Tom Shull

Hanover Direct Had Nearly Drowned Among Too Many Properties, But its Focus is Clear Now: A New Merchandising Strategy that Concentrates on Core Brands. By Alicia Orr Suman Focus. That's what was lacking at Hanover Direct, says Tom Shull, president and CEO of the company. Hanover Direct, nearly insolvent when Shull took the helm two-and-a half years ago, at one time had 22 businesses. To get out of debt, Hanover shed catalogs and other businesses, and concentrated on growing its strongest brands. Shull, a turnaround specialist who had worked on the revitalizations of both Barneys and Macy's, says it was a

By Hallie Mummert After more than 40 years of perfecting the direct mail sweepstakes, Reader's Digest has closed its prize money vault. In 1998 newly appointed Reader's Digest Association CEO Tom Ryder saw the writing on the wall for the publishing giant, and announced a plan to revitalize the brand—starting with product improvements and a gradual weaning of sweepstakes promotions. Not surprisingly, this plan came at a time when Congress was pushing for sweepstakes reform, and the state attorneys general were punishing direct marketers they felt were the poster children of sweepstakes. Only a few years after strict legislation regulating sweepstakes promotions was passed

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