Touchstone Owner Blames USPS for Catalog’s Demise

Gifts and Home Decor Catalog Touchstone Announced in Early March it was closing. And owner/president Sarah Luce, who says shuttering the 20-year-old company was “the most difficult decision of my life,” blames postal rate hikes.

The chaotic economy was also a problem, but Luce says that if the U.S. Postal Service had repealed the disastrous rate increases to catalogs in 2007, many catalogers — including TouchStone — would still be in business.

“The postal increase put many of our home decor competitors out of business last year,” Luce explains. “This resulted in fewer names available for exchange or rental and, therefore, made developing sound circulation plans challenging.” The catalog’s circulation had decreased 15% to 20% in the past two years.

TouchStone, which is not filing for bankruptcy, will close for good on May 31. The cataloger’s vendors will be paid in full, Luce says. “We are presently working to reduce our inventory levels in order to attract a potential buyer or investor,” she adds.

In informing vendors and business partners of the company’s situation, “We are more and more saddened that there is a serious ripple effect of our closing,” Luce says.

More jobs will be lost than just TouchStone’s 16 employees, she notes. “This closing affects our creative freelancers, our third-party warehouse and call center, printers, many vendors and showrooms.”

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