Market Snapshot: Home Universe gets Downsized

The home products catalog market lost about 300,000 active names in the fourth quarter of 2009, according to New York-based list brokerage firm ParadysMatera.

The total 12-month active mailable universe for the segment of marketers that sell merchandise including floor covering, window treatments, lighting and outdoor decor was 14.5 million. That’s a drop of 2.2 million names from the fourth quarter of 2008.

Why a 13% drop in active names? One reason is attrition of 12-month buyers, a result of the recession, according to ParadyszMatera. Then there’s the demise of Smith & Hawken, which shut down in July, and meant those 140,000 names were eliminated.

Based on lists that were active in the past year, the average house file size dropped 12% between the fourth quarters of 2008 and 2009. Only 22% of the home products catalog files saw some sort of growth, while 73% saw a decline. More than one out of every three house files – 36% – saw a decline of 15% or more.

But the value of home catalogs is on the rise. In the fourth quarter of 2009, the average list CPM for the market was $119.16/M, up $7.08 from $111.08 the previous year.

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