Market Snapshot: Gifts Titles Collect New Buyers

May 01, 2007 9:30 PM  By

For merchants of gifts and collectibles, when you give, they receive. And during the past two years they’ve been receiving more names of people who have been turning to catalogers for gift-giving, judging by data from ParadyszMatera. According to the New York-based list brokerage services firm, the names of 20.0 million 12-month buyers from gifts and collectibles mailers were available for rental or exchange during the fourth quarter of 2006. That total is up 1.5% from the previous year and accounts for about 12% of all 12-month consumer catalog buyers on the market.

Although house file growth for the category overall was modest, plenty of individual titles enjoyed double- and even triple-digit gains. Vermont Teddy Bear Co. spin-off PajamaGram, for instance, increased its house file 104.5%, to roughly 157,000 12-month buyers, due largely to an aggressive prospecting campaign that began in 2005. Signals, one of the gift titles in the Universal Screen Arts stable, grew its active buyer file 62%, to 552,000 names. Uno Alla Volta, a spin-off of Professional Cutlery Direct, increased its active buyer file 56%, to 41,000. And the cataloger with the largest file in the category, Collections Etc., managed to expand its 12-month buyer file 22%, to more than 3.1 million.

Use of incentives no doubt helped fuel at least some of these gains — and in fact, use of incentives grew as well. Twenty-seven percent of the gifts and collectibles books received last year offered some sort of incentive, up from 22% in 2005. Free shipping was by far the most popular promotion, with 19% of the titles offering it, compared with 14% the previous year. Discounts were offered by 8% of the catalogs, up one percentage point from 2005. Only 2% offered deferred payment, a percentage that has remained steady for the past two years.

House file universe: gifts and collectibles catalogs
4Q
2004
1Q
2005
2Q
2005
3Q
2005
4Q
2005
1Q
2006
2Q
2006
3Q
2006
4Q
2006
Total universe 19.6 19.8 19.8 19.8 19.7 20.3 20.5 20.6 20.0
Gifts & collectibles catalogs with the largest active buyer files
Rank List name 4Q 2006 house file universe Average order
1 Collections Etc. 3,117,439 $50
2 Oriental Trading Co. 1,200,000 $65
3 RedEnvelope 995,927 $75
4 Current General Merchandise Catalog Buyers 990,339 $50
5 Terry’s Village 788,428 $48
Source: ParadyszMatera