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Delia's stands out in the competitive teen market by having built its stable of catalog offerings, beefed up its database and extended the brand at retail and on the Web.

At the forefront of the action is Christopher Edgar, vice chairman-chief operating officer, who in 1993 founded Delia's on a $200,000 budget with his partner Steve Kahn in a Brooklyn apartment.

Originally, they aimed for college-age women in Northeastern schools, but it soon became clear their younger sisters were ordering merchandise. As a result, the target audience changed and the company has since grown to become a $113 million apparel catalog marketer targeted to teen-age girls.

Mr. Edgar, 33, says the $4.75 million acquisition of Fulcrum Direct was pivotal in the company's success last year. The acquisition added 5 million names to its database, now more than 11 million names.

"Fulcrum was the final step in a series of acquisitions that were geared towards maximizing marketing strength to Generation Y," says Mr. Edgar.

In addition, Delia's took on the assets of retail apparel and accessories chain Screeem! for another $10 million and more than 800,000 shares of Delia's common stock.

"Direct mail is a fantastic way to approach this market, because it's nimble enough and editorially sophisticated enough to address Generation Y," says Mr. Edgar.

Now Delia's also offers Dot-dot-dash, a catalog for 7- to 11-year-olds, with a spring 1999 issue, and Droog, its teen boys catalog. Its extensive Internet operations have been combined into Delia's iTurf subsidiary, which went public

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