Montgomery Ward

Montgomery Ward

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Montgomery Ward

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Montgomery Ward ( and Wards) are brands currently owned by an online and catalog-based merchant, Montgomery Ward, Inc., based in Monroe, Wisconsin, that carries the same names as the former American department store chain, founded as the world's #1 mail order business in 1872 by Aaron Montgomery Ward, and which went out of business in 2001. At its height, the original Montgomery Ward company (Wards) was one of the largest retailers in the United States, but declining sales in the late 20th century forced the original Montgomery Ward to close all of its retail stores and catalog operations by early 2001. After a near four year absence, in late 2004, the Montgomery Ward brand was revived as an online and catalog-based merchant headquartered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, when Direct Marketing Services Inc. (“DMSI”) purchased many of the intellectual property assets of the former Wards, reviving the brand as an online retailer with no physical stores. In 2008, DMSI went into receivership and ownership of the Montgomery Ward and Wards intellectual property and brands were purchased from the receiver by Midwest Catalog Brands, Inc. (a subsidiary of The Swiss Colony, Inc., now known as Colony Brands, Inc.), based in Monroe, Wisconsin.

History

Company origins

Ward had conceived of the revolutionary idea of a dry goods mail-order business in Chicago, Illinois, after several years of working as a traveling salesman among rural customers. He observed that rural customers often...
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