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November 20. 2012 8:57PM

Londonderry catalog retailer Herrington changes hands

LONDONDERRY - The Herrington Catalog company has been sold as part of a management buyout, longtime company owners Lee and Joan Herrington announced late last week.

The 32-year-old company, which sells high-end outdoor and travel accessories, luxury sporting goods, cameras and footwear, was sold for an undisclosed price to a management team led by longtime company president Norm Beauchesne.

Beauchesne, who has worked for the company for the past 16 years, said the sale was finalized Oct. 26.

Lee Herrington founded the catalog in 1980, with the company's humble origins in Herrington's basement.

The company headquarters is now located at 3 Symmes Drive. Beauchesne said the plan is to continue leasing the building from the Herrington family for the immediate future, though perhaps not forever.

"Our hopes are to stay within this area, though we may need a larger facility down the road," he said on Tuesday.

The company currently has around 120 year-round employees and hires an additional 200 temporary employees each holiday season.

An immediate goal, Beauchesne said, is to focus on expanded Internet marketing and additional product offerings.

In a written statement, company founder Lee Herrington said he simply felt the time had come to pass the torch.

"After 32 years of merchandising luxury items to a sophisticated clientele appreciative of fine design it was time to let others carry on the brand tradition, and to address the challenges of the retail landscape," Herrington said. "While no longer associated with the brand, I have every confidence the new team will succeed in taking the company to the next level."

The Herrington Catalog achieved several noteworthy merchandising coups, including the exclusive introduction of Callaway Golf, producers of the Big Bertha golf clubs.

The company also broke the market for personal LED lights with its Sapphire Light, launched the H.S. Trask line of men's sporting luxury footwear, and introduced the Swiss line of MBT barefoot technology shoes in the U.S.

The catalog is known for its literate and personal copywriting style and its dramatic photo spreads.

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April Guilmet may be reached at AGuilmet@newstote.com.