KooKoo for kids’s stuff

Some merchants may be reporting a slow start to the season, but children’s home decor and apparel merchant KooKoo Bear Kids is up 35% this fall, and is already ahead of its 2007 sales goals.

What’s KooKoo Bear’s secret? CEO Joe Mediate credits part of the sales hike to increased catalog circulation. But he adds that the 15% circ rise was to take advantage of comailing with some undisclosed home decor titles.

The company also expanded merchandise beyond the core children’s furniture line. “We add about 100 new items per catalog, and our customers seem to like the newness,” says Mediate, who mails KooKoo Bear Kids 12 times a year. “We have an increased number of multibuyers because of clothing and gifts.”

So instead of a customer buying a $3,000 bed and maybe purchasing again in another six months, shoppers are returning sooner and snapping up impulse items like a $44 monogrammed sweater for a toddler or a $26 pair of bunny slippers for mom.

“Our customers have become gift buyers as well, and gifts now make up about 30% of our sales,” Mediate says.

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