Rugs Direct Rolls Out Print Catalog

Internet marketer Rugs Direct now covers the print catalog channel as well. The Winchester, VA-based home decor company mailed 500,000 copies of its first catalog in April. “We wanted to grow our customer base,” says Randy Kremer, “and we felt that to do that we needed a presence in other traditional market spaces, such as catalogs.”

The 50-page catalog mailed to Rugs Direct’s entire house file of roughly 100,000 names; the remaining 400,000 copies to rental lists of “proven catalog buyers” and “catalog buyers with Internet connectivity,” Kremer says. More than 170,000 catalogs dropped on April 2. The remaining catalogs were mailed April 20.

Like many a Web pure-play before it, Rugs Direct felt it needed to mail a catalog to push consumers to its Website. Though customers can order from the catalog, the company hopes they’ll go to the Web to order, since it’s less expensive to accept orders online than via a call center. “Our goal is to drive the catalog customer on the Internet if we can,” Kremer says.

Besides its Website, Rugs Direct — a division of Winchester Carpet & Rug Co. — has a showroom at its Winchester headquarters and is planning to open a second showroom in the fall. The privately held company’s average unit of sale is about $300, Kremer says, and overall the company sells about 10,000 rugs per month.

Rugs Direct offers more than 50,000 rugs, furniture, and home decor accessories online; the print catalog features about 1,000 SKUs. “We tried to put the best representation in the catalog,” Kremer says. Merchandise ranges from a $4,451 tapestry made of 100% semiworsted New Zealand wool and hand-knotted in India to a $29 olefin throw rug made in the USA.

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