Names Leaving the Home Market

The home products catalog market lost 600,000 active names in the fourth quarter of 2008, according to New York-based list brokerage services firm ParadyszMatera. This drop came after five quarters of steadiness, with a loss of only 100,000 names during that time.

In the fourth quarter of 2008, BrylaneHome’s active buyer file declined by 281,000 names, and Domestications was off by 264,000 compared to the same quarter in 2007.

What’s happened to the home products buyers universe? It’s no surprise that the real estate crash and mortgage crisis are taking a toll. With fewer people buying and selling homes, there’s not as much need for furnishings and decor items. Plus, the general economic crisis has caused consumers to halt unnecessary spending.

Looking at the top-five home products catalogers, Williams-Sonoma-owned companies dominate the field. Pottery Barn has more than 1.4 million active buyers, while the company’s flagship Williams-Sonoma title has more than 1.1 million. Smaller yet notable players in the market include Flor, Smith+Noble and Shades of Light.