Then: The Jazz Store debuted in October 1996 as a 40-page catalog, selling hard-to-find jazz videos, posters, CD sets, and books. Prices ranged from $10.95 to $93.50. Cofounders Marsha and Steve Brecker launched the catalog, and three months later, a companion Website, from their Montclair, NJ home to target jazz lovers and collectors. The business was profiled in our September 1997 issue.
Since then: In 2003 the Breckers sold the Jazz Store to classical-music membership club Musical Heritage Society, a division of the Oakhurst, NJ-based direct marketing services provider Heritage Direct. “After the sale, we started using promotions and premiums on items we had in surplus,” says Heritage Direct marketing director Jeff Mahajan. Heritage Direct also increased annual circulation from 50,000 to 600,000 and added to the product line collectibles such as statues, paintings, and lithographs going for as much as $1,200.
Now: The 32-page print catalog and the contact center remain the primary source of sales, says Mahajan, with online sales accounting for only about 20% of total revenue. Musical Heritage Society launched the Jazz Heritage Society music club as a companion to both the Jazz Store and its original membership club.