Figi’s: Expansion to Neillsville and Stevens Point
By Kris Leonhardt
Continued from previous edition
After Fingerhut Corporation’s purchase of Figi’s and John Figi’s departure, the company built a 64,000 square-foot headquarters office building in the Marshfield Air Industrial Park in 1987 and the Figi’s computer system was fully integrated into the Fingerhut Corporation.
The following year, a gift assembly facility opened in Stevens Point and in 1989, a 30,000 square foot gift assembly facility opened in Neillsville. That same year, a call center was added in Point, and in 1990, another 122,000 square feet was added to the gift assembly in Point.
In 1992, Central Shipping and Receiving was also added to the Point gift assembly facility.
The early 1990s saw the introduction of the outbound telemarketing program and call center outsourcing to handle peak season calls during the holidays.
The late 1990s saw expansions at all three locations – Marshfield, Neillsville, and Stevens Point.
The Figi’s facilities saw heavy growth during the decade and resembled little of its humble beginnings with John & Ann Figi.
Joe Fouts recalled the early days in an interview with former Figi’s staff. “John Figi hired me from (Central State Bank) to here. I came in as general office manager. John and Ray had one office, which they shared,” Fouts said. “… in the main building, they had a little room… They each had a desk in there, which made it pretty crowded. If somebody came in for me, one of them had to leave. Three people wouldn’t fit. But I came in as general office manager, and I sat right outside for that office. I had two file cabinets and I got a door for across the two file cabinets and that was my desk. Worked out good,” he said.
In 2002, Fingerhut was sold to Crosstown Traders/JP Morgan. The sale would start a series of transitions for the company, introducing a season of change and slowing its growth.
Next week: The beginning of the end