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Self-Made Multi-Millionaire, Direct Marketing Expert Brad Richdale Sets His Sights on Stokely USA

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., July 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Brad Richdale, who parlayed a $20,000 investment into an $80-million-a-year direct marketing empire in only 12 months, has taken a 9 percent interest in Stokely USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: STKY).

Stokely, a leading domestic producer of canned vegetables, reported a net loss of $20,923,000 or $1.84 per share for its fiscal year that ended March 31. Included in that figure was a non-recurring charge of $13,529,000 or $1.19 per share for restructuring and writing off certain deferred debt costs. The company has reported losses in four of its last five fiscal years.

"Stokely has a very good management team and a strong brand name, but the company needs products with higher margins to improve its bottom line," said Richdale, who met last week with Stokely President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Theobald.

"I bought in because I see at least three distinct opportunities to grow revenue and return Stokely to profitability."

In addition to its current strategies, Richdale says, Stokely should:

* Create new proprietary signature products with higher margins that could

be test marketed and rolled out without any plant retooling or high

development costs.

* Develop new non-perishable health-and-fitness-related products for a

direct sales network. The products could be manufactured by someone

else under the Stokely name or a new subsidiary of Stokely.

* Utilize the skills of the staff and the company's physical assets to

facilitate expanded sales through another mode of distribution such as a

direct sales force.

"I'm hopeful the board will see the wisdom of my marketing ideas developed from two decades of experience in the field," said Richdale, whose company, National Direct Corp., grew 8,000 percent in gross revenues in 1996.

Richdale is a self-made multi-millionaire, author of the acclaimed book "Think Like a Millionaire" and the nation's infomercial king. His television show, "Creating Wealth," with NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton as co-host, has been rated No. 1 for 38 weeks by the Infomercial Monitoring Service in Broomall, Pa. His ads, marketing strategies and direct mail efforts are utilized by major companies and entrepreneurs worldwide.

Stokely processes, markets and sells a broad range of vegetables under customer private labels and under the Stokely's Finest(R) and Stokely's Gold(TM) labels and other brand labels through retail, food service and industrial distribution channels. Headquartered in Oconomowoc, Wis., Stokely operates seven processing facilities in the Midwest.

SOURCE National Direct Corporation
 -0- 7/14/97


/CONTACT: Janet Hall, National Direct Corporation, 904-258-8111, ext. 254 or Bill Stracener, Anderson Public Relations, 803-785-4647/

(STKY)

CO: National Direct Corporation; Stokely USA, Inc. ST: Florida IN: REA SU:

TL -- CHM016 -- 7521 07/14/97 16:18 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com
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Date:Jul 14, 1997
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