Collectibles Company Seeks Shop

Department 56, a collectibles company based in Eden Prairie, Minn., has contacted several Minneapolis agencies about its $1-2 million advertising account, sources said.
Officials from five agencies said they had received overtures from Department 56, but referred calls to the client for further details. Company officials did not return phone calls. Marketing director Pat van der Lugt is thought to be running the review.
The company has no current agency. Carmichael Lynch Spong, the public relations arm of Minneapolis agency Carmichael Lynch, is Department 56’s public relations agency of record. CL officials declined comment on the review.
Department 56 spent $1.6 million on advertising last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
The company is a designer, importer and distributor of ceramic and porcelain collectibles. It introduces approximately 1,000 new products every year, but is best known for its lighted village products.
The products are sold in more than 6,000 department, home accessory, specialty and collectibles stores nationwide. The company recently announced plans to open its first retail store in the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn.
The company was founded by floral and gift retailer Edward Bazinet in 1976. Forstmann Little & Co., a New York investment firm, acquired the company in 1992 and took it public on the New York Stock Exchange in 1993. The company’s sales were $219 million in 1997.