The CATALOG AGE 100: Five Greatest Sales Gainers

Corporate Express North America (up 193.3%): The office furniture and supplies marketer has its parent company, Amsterdam’s Buhrmann, to thank for its rocketing sales growth. After buying Corporate Express in 1999, Buhrmann merged it with its existing BT Office Products business. And expect more growth for Corporate Express this year: The company completed its acquisition of U.S. Office Products this past May.

Getty Images (up 95.6%): Getty’s 1999 buying spree laid the foundation for its 2000 sales growth. The stock-photography marketer bought EyeWire and The Image Bank, among other properties, that year. Then in March 2000 it completed its acquisition of its largest rival, Visual Communications Group, whose brands include FPG. Looking ahead, Getty is projecting more modest growth of 13%-17%, or sales of $550 million-$565 million for 2001.

Newport Corp. (up 75.5%): Strong growth in the fiber-optic communications and semiconductor equipment industries led to strong growth for Newport Corp., which sells electro-optical, laser, photonic, and related equipment for scientists and engineers. The company’s semiconductor equipment sales alone climbed more than 300% for the year, while sales of fiber-optic communications products soared nearly 350%. In comparison, Newport’s sales to the aerospace and research market rose a more modest 19%.

Guitar Center (up 60.2%): Retailer Guitar Center’s investment in Musician’s Friend is paying off. After acquiring the cataloger in May 1999, Guitar Center gave Musician’s Friend cash to redesign its print book, sharpen its circulation plan, and invest in collaborative filtering on its Website.

Sharper Image Corp. (up 49.5%): A 31% circulation increase helped boost the marketer’s print catalog sales to $96.2 million. And a Website that combines cutting-edge design with speed and ease led to online sales of $60.2 million. Factor in the continued popularity of its Razor scooter and the introduction of more private-label products, and you have the secrets of the high-tech gifts and gadgets cataloger/retailer’s success.

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