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The Fingerhut Companies, Inc.
TypeSubsidiary. Private
IndustryMail order, online shopping
Founded1948; 73 years ago (1948)
FounderWilliam and Manny Fingerhut
Saint Cloud Minnesota, U.S.
RevenueUS$ 500 million (2008)
OwnerBluestem Brands, Inc.
Number of employees
6,000 (2002)

Fingerhut is an American catalog/online retailer.[1][2]

Fingerhut was founded in 1948 by William Fingerhut and his brother Manny, selling automobile seat covers. In 1952, the business repositioned itself as a mail order catalog company and diversified its goods to include towels, dishes, and tools. In 1969 the company went public.[3] The Fingerhut family was no longer involved in the business after 1979.

In 1994, Fingerhut sponsored the #98 NASCAR Ford Thunderbird for Cale Yarborough Motorsports. Derrike Cope started the year in the #98 car, before he was replaced later on by Jeremy Mayfield. In 1995 the company launched the e-commerce site By 1996, Fingerhut was one of the 25 largest credit card issuers in the United States.

Today, Fingerhut is distinguished from other online retailers in that customers can pay with credit, and make monthly payments until their orders are paid off.

The Fingerhut brand has passed through several ownerships during its existence, including onetime ownership by American Can Company (1979) and its successor Primerica, Federated Department Stores (1999), Petters Group Worldwide (2002), and Bain Capital Ventures (2004). Federated Department Stores Inc. (current Macy's, Inc.) acquired this company for US$1.7 billion in 1999. Fingerhut's revenue was US$1.7 billion for the fiscal year that ended in January 2001 (FY 2001). By 2000, Fingerhut had lost US$400 million and Federated Department Stores sold the company in 2002.[4]

The company has received criticism for allegedly engaging in practices such as robocalls.[5][6]

On March 9, 2020, the company was part of the bankruptcy of Bluestem Brands, Inc. The Chapter 11 bankruptcy was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware.[7]


  1. ^ Moore, Janet (January 17, 2002). "Fingerhut to shut down; 4,700 jobs lost in state; Finding buyer to save catalog retailer is unlikely, analysts say.(NEWS)". Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN). Archived from the original on November 2, 2012. Retrieved 2009-01-05.
  2. ^ Kaufman, Leslie (February 12, 1999). "Federated Department Stores to Buy Fingerhut". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-01-05.
  3. ^ "History: Fingerhut Companies Inc.", Funding Universe
  4. ^ "Fingerhut Receives $62.5 Million Equity Investment: New Financing Positions Company for Significant Growth" Archived 2010-12-19 at the Wayback Machine, Minneapolis, MN, March 31, 2004, press release.
  5. ^ "Debt Collectors Real & Fake Top List Of Most-Blocked Phone Numbers". Consumerist. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
  6. ^ "Fingerhut Robocalling Class Action Lawsuit". Retrieved 19 February 2015.
  7. ^ "Fingerhut owner Bluestem Brands files Chapter 11, may be sold". Business Journal. Retrieved 2020-05-10.

Further reading[edit]

  • Chandler, Susan, "Data Is Power. Just Ask Fingerhut", Business Week, June 3, 1996, p. 69.
  • Jaffe, Thomas, "Thumbs up on Fingerhut?", Forbes, January 21, 1991, p. 124.
  • Louis, Arthur M., "Dead-Letter Days for Fingerhut", Fortune, November 1974, pp. 184–190.
  • Meyer, Herbert E., "How Fingerhut Beat the Recession", Fortune, November 17, 1980, pp. 102–104.
  • Phelps, David, "Pointing a Finger at Fingerhut", Minneapolis Star Tribune, January 10, 1999, p. 1D.

External links[edit]