It’s the merchandise, stupid, was the message from catalog consultant Jim Alexander. Addressing attendees at the 10th annual DMA Catalog Council Catalog On-the-Road Conference held here Jan. 31, Alexander noted that the gross demand per item (or sales per book by item) is the most important statistic to evaluate your business. Remember that “this is an item-driven business,” Alexander said.
Moreover, your list performance is a reflection of the size of the market opportunity and your ability to merchandise. No list is profitable or unprofitable in and of itself, he pointed out. “If your list is off, chances are there’s a problem with your merchandise.” The program also included presentations from Millard Group vice president, catalog brokerage, Bill LaPierre, multichannel marketer Babystyle president/chief operating officer Tom Park, Lands’ End’s vice president of direct marketing David Johnson, Web research firm e-Tailing Group president Lauren Freedman, and DMA president/CEO Bob Wientzen.