Lane Bryant catalog in, Regalia title out

You launch some, you lose some. A week after unveiling its long-awaited Lane Bryant catalog, Charming Shoppes on Nov. 8 announced it would close its Regalia women’s apparel catalog. Regalia is one of the titles Charming Shoppes acquired when it bought Crosstown Traders in May 2005.

What happened to Regalia? Charming Shoppes’ senior vice president of finance Steve Wishner says keeping the title afloat did not make sense because of its size. Regalia was much smaller than fellow Crosstown Trader books such as Old Pueblo Traders and Willow Ridge. “You put as much time and effort into a small catalog as you do a big catalog,” Wishner says.

According to Regalia’s data card, the cataloger has 118,403 names and 65,758 12-month buyers, and an average sale of $92. Old Pueblo Traders, meanwhile, has more than 12 million names and 805,081 12-month buyers. Its buyers spend an average of $73 per order.

And Willow Ridge has a 12-month hotline buyer file of 408,848 names; its total list size is 532,311. All three catalogs share the same customer demographic: women, about 55 years old, with an average household income of $55,000.

“We looked at the demographics of the Regalia customer database and saw there was a good chance its customers could be migrated into our other catalog databases,” Wishner says. He adds that Regalia’s employees will be transferred to the division’s other catalog titles.

Crosstown Traders’ other women’s apparel catalogs include Bedford Fair, Brownstone Studio, and Lew Magram; it also mails the Figi’s food and gifts book.

Charming Shoppes, which has owned and operated the Lane Bryant plus-size women’s apparel stores since 2001, got back the trademark to that catalog title from Redcats USA in October. It mailed its first 112-page Lane Bryant catalog at the end of the month.

But the timing of Regalia’s closing and the Lane Bryant catalog launch was just coincidental, Wishner says.

The new Lane Bryant title is skewed toward a younger, 30-something audience with a lower income than the Regalia customer, he adds.

(For a critique of the company’s Old Pueblo Traders Website, read New Tricks for Old Pueblo.)

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