Ralph Lauren to Take Another Crack at Cataloging

High-end fashion marketer Ralph Lauren Media/Polo.com will launch a print catalog “next spring or summer,” according to chief creative and marketing officer David Lauren. The catalog is already under development, Lauren says, “but we’re looking for a way to do it differently or uniquely.”

Ralph Lauren had tested a home products catalog about six years ago. What took the company so long to return to the catalog arena? “It was a matter of priorities,” says Jeff Morgan, CEO of New York-based Ralph Lauren Media. “And now multichannel/cross-channel/database marketing is clearly the direction we want to take.” For its initial mailings, the company plans to leverage its retail and Web customer database. “We’re in the process of building up our database through a centralized customer contact strategy,” Morgan says. The book will likely “mirror our Web catalog,” he adds.

In addition to its retail presence in high-end department stores as well as its own store in New York, Ralph Lauren markets to consumers on its two Websites. Although its main site gives shoppers a chance to order online, a second site — called Runway and launched this past May — teases browsers with offerings and extensive Ralph Lauren-focused fashion video entertainment, but doesn’t allow for online shopping. Instead, customers must dial a toll-free number.

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