The good news is that the American Catalog Mailers Association has picked up 15 new members since January, bringing its membership to more than 100 companies. The bad news is that’s a fraction of what the group’s membership should be, according to its executive director Hamilton Davison.
During the ACMA’s National Catalog Forum in Nashville last week, Davison told attendees the organization’s membership needs to be 300 to 400 companies. “We need the money on our balance sheet to really have our business capitally funded,” he said.
More specific: “We need more breadth of representation that would give us more credibility in Washington.” In the ACMA’s three-year existence, “we’re starting to define a path for ourselves, but there are storm clouds on the horizon that give me the chills,” Davison said.
One of the major storm clouds is next year’s exigent postal rate case that could hit catalogers hard. If postal rates begin to spiral out of control, Davison said, the ACMA is the only group that can help alleviate that fiscal pain.
Annual membership dues for catalogers equate to one quarter of 1% of a company’s annual postal spend. Davison encouraged ACMA members to try to bring in more catalog companies during the next six months. “I need you to open that door for us and establish a dialogue at a senior level,” he said.
Phyliss Mosca, president of plus-size women’s apparel cataloger Ulla Popken, co-chairs the ACMA Membership Committee. “Every single one of us needs to be out there,” she told the Forum attendees. “It’s not a one-time call. It is a matter of our survival. This is vital.”