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Montgomery Ward history

1872: Aaron Montgomery Ward founds the first dry goods mail-order catalog business.

1875: Coins "Satisfaction Guaranteed or Your Money Back."

1900: Records $8.7-million in sales, but falls behind Sears, Roebuck and Co.'s $10-million.

1926: First freestanding retail store opens in Plymouth, Ind.

1939: Employee Robert L. May develops character and illustrated poem Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer for executives.

1985: Unveils specialty store strategy, ends catalogs.

1988: Management undertakes successful $3.8-billion leveraged buyout, making company privately held.

1991: Resumes mail-order catalog business.

1997: Files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

1999: GE Capital Credit buys company, brings it out of bankruptcy and changes its focus.

2000: Announces plan to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, shutter 250 stores in 30 states.

_ Associated Press

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