Ballard Designs heads outside

Based on the success of the patio furniture and other outdoor products sold in its spring and summer catalogs, Atlanta-based home decor title Ballard Designs is unveiling a 48-page Outdoor catalog this month.

“We tackled the inside of the home, and now we want to address the outdoor living and dining areas,” says Laura Daily, vice president of merchandising for Ballard Designs. The Outdoor catalog will mail to an undisclosed number of customers and prospects. Products range from a Jardin indoor/outdoor rug, which sells for $19, to a wrought-iron Vendome Divider, which sells for $648.

Founded by Helen Ballard Weeks, Ballard Designs mailed its first catalog in August 1983; today it mails more than 40 million books a year. Ballard Designs was acquired by West Chester, OH-based catalog holding company Cornerstone Brands in 1997.

Creating spin-offs is nothing new for Cornerstone’s titles. Garnet Hill, which sells upscale home decor and natural-fiber clothing, launched Growing Up with Garnet Hill, devoted to children’s apparel and decor, in time for the 2004 fall/holiday season. And high-end home products catalog Frontgate begat five spin-offs. Its most recent, Grandin Road, which sells merchandise similar to but less expensive than that of the core book, debuted in March 2003.

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