Fingerhut Direct Marketing Inc., its identity interwoven in the public's mind with former owner and future federal prisoner Tom Petters, has a new name.

The Eden Prairie-based company is now Bluestem Brands Inc.

In announcing the switch in a news release Thursday, the company said the move signifies its "progression from a catalog company to a multibrand, multichannel retailer."

Bluestem Brands will operate under its two retail brands: Fingerhut and, the announcement added. The company will continue its practice of offering various purchase-on-credit options to families with modest incomes.

The company explains that the Bluestem name originates from a Midwest prairie grass.

Petters will be sentenced next month to a lengthy prison term for orchestrating a $3.65 billion Ponzi scheme.

In 2002, Fingerhut's owner, Federated Department Stores Inc., laid off more than 2,500 Fingerhut workers and shuttered the business. Petters helped buy Fingerhut's assets from Federated that same year and resumed catalog distribution.