A surprising lift in January

Consumers may be buying less in the tight economy, but you can’t say catalogers weren’t trying. Catalog Tracker received 353 catalogs in January, up 11% from the 317 delivered to its mailbox in the same month of 2007.

But according to the service of Greenwich, CT-based list firm Direct Media, that’s still down from prior Januarys. For instance, Catalog Tracker received 390 books in January 2006, and 400 in January 2005.

Naturally, January was a time for cleaning out merchandise, in hopes that consumers would redeem gift cards or spend their holiday cash. Home decor and housewares title Acacia offered up to 43% off on items, and included a 10-page clearance section in its January mailing. Shoes and accessories book Aerosoles offered up to 70% off, with a 6-page clearance section.

Meanwhile, apparel and accessories title Bedford Fair Lifestyles mailed a 64-page clearance edition with offers of up to 65% off. Women’s apparel mailer Draper’s & Damon’s had a 48-page clearance book, as did men’s clothier Jos. A. Bank.

Since many catalogers reported holiday sales overall being down, and the January forecasts looking shaky, more mailers saw a need to increase their free shipping offers. Free shipping promotions increased a bit from 14% in January 2007 to 15% in January 2008.

But with consumer credit unsteady, deferred billing promotions did not rise. Those offers stayed the same as January 2007, at 6%.

With Easter on March 23, some books promoted the arrival of the Christian holiday a little earlier that usual. General merchant Miles Kimball promoted the holiday on its cover, as did children’s book Oriental Trading Company.

Only one title, food merchant Godiva Chocolatier, ran a sweepstakes promoted in January. What was the offer? A chance to win a weekend trip to New York.

Partner Content

Hincapie Sportswear Finds Omnichannel Success in the Cloud - Netsuite
For more and more companies, a cloud-based unified data solution is the way to make this happen. Custom cycling apparel maker Hincapie Sportswear has leveraged this capability to gain greater visibility into revenue streams, turning opportunities into sales more quickly while gaining overall operating efficiency. Download this ecommerce special report from Multichannel Merchant to more.
The Gift of Wow: Preparing your store for the holiday season - Netsuite
Being prepared for the holiday rush used to mean stocking shelves and making sure your associates were ready for the long hours. But the digital revolution has changed everything, most importantly, customer expectations. Retailers with a physical store presence should be asking themselves—what am I doing to wow the customer?
3 Critical Components to Achieving the Perfect Order - NetSuite
Explore the 3 critical components to delivering the perfect order.
Streamlining Unified Commerce Complexity - NetSuite
Explore how consolidating multiple systems through a cloud-based commerce platform provides a seamless experience for both you, and your customer.