Home, sweet home catalogs

As the size of the average American home has been creeping upward over the years, so has the size of the 12-month active universe for the home catalogs market. New York-based list brokerage services firm ParadyszMatera estimates that during the second quarter of 2006, the names of 19.5 million 12-month buyers of home decor and housewares catalogs were available for rental or exchange, up 2.3% from the second quarter of 2005 and up 3.2% from the second quarter of 2004. All told, home catalogs account for about 11.5% of all 12-month consumer catalog buyers whose names are on the market.

San Francisco-based Williams-Sonoma is a dominant player: Its Pottery Barn list is the sector’s largest, with nearly 1.7 million 12-month buyers, and its eponymous catalog of kitchenware is number two, with more than 1.1 million 12-month buyers. During the quarter the company released the list of its newest brand, Williams-Sonoma Home, which sells furniture at price points a bit higher than those of Pottery Barn; it has 49,000 active buyers in its file.

The catalog with the fifth largest 12-month buyer file, Hanover Direct’s Domestications title, was also one of the sector’s greatest gainers. During the past year its house file increased more than 20%, to just shy of 956,500 12-month buyers. This growth is due in part to the addition of Web-generated names to the file. Another major gainer, cookery title NapaStyle, saw the size of its active buyer file shoot up 73.5%, to 98,000, due in part to increased circulation.

The use of incentives among home catalogs has shot up as well. During the first half of this year 24% of the home books received by ParadyszMatera offered some sort of incentive, such as discounts or deferred payment. That compares with 21% of the home catalogs received last year and 19% of those received in 2004. Deferred payment was the most popular incentive, with 15% of the home catalogs offering it, up from 11% last year. Home Depot, LinenSource, window treatment specialist Smith+Noble, and Domestications and another Hanover Direct title, The Company Store, were among the most active promoters of deferred payments.

Only 4% of the home decor mailers offered free shipping and handling so far this year. Given the cost of shipping hard goods, that’s not surprising.

Partner Content

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.
Strategies for Maximizing Mobile Point-of-Sale Technology - NetSuite
Learn the top five innovative ways to utilize your mobile POS technology to drive customer engagement, increase sales and elevate your brand.