Before its customers pick up the phone to arrange a game of pinochle with their peeps, Blair hopes they'll give some attention to its latest mailing. Through its catalogs, letter pitches, and website, Blair sells men's and women's clothing (its biggest sales generators) to middle-aged and senior low- to middle-income customers. The company also sells home decor, bedspreads, bath accessories, drapes, kitchenware, rugs, and vacuums. Most of Blair's merchandise is made to specifications by independent suppliers. Established in 1910, it operates a retail store and a factory outlet in Pennsylvania. Apparel marketer Orchard Brands (formerly Appleseed's Topco) owns Blair.
Blair's parent Orchard Brands emerged from bankruptcy in early 2011 after reorganizing its business to eliminate some $420 million of its debt; Blair was unscathed. Orchard Brands had filed for bankruptcy in Delaware in January after its owner Golden Gate Capital failed to find a buyer for the company. Prior to the filing, Blair's parent had about $725 million in secured and unsecured debt and a total interest expense of about $52 million.
Blair's offices in China, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, and Taiwan are responsible for sourcing about a third of the company's merchandise.
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