Bebe Stores Gets Sporty with Catalog

The latest retailer to expand into catalog marketing is Bebe Stores. In early April the women’s apparel manufacturer/marketer mailed 200,000 copies of its first catalog, Bebe Sport, to customers of its six Bebe Sport stores.

The Bebe Sport catalog, like the Bebe Sport stores, sells sportier clothing and accessories than the core Bebe Stores retail chain. Whereas Bebe’s trendier, form-fitting clothing targets fashion-forward women 18-24 years old, Bebe Sport’s French terry pants, tank tops, and T-shirts are tailored for women 20-40 years old.

“A typical customer,” says marketing director Sandra Alvarenga, “might be a young mother with an active lifestyle, who wants to wear something sporty yet sexy.” The $316.9 million Bebe Stores opened the first Bebe Sport store in November.

The average price point of products in the 22-page, 7-1/4″ × 9-1/2″ catalog is $45. Merchandise ranges from a $22 purse to $89 pants. To promote the new catalog, the Brisbane, CA-based company hosted parties at its Bebe Sport stores the day of its launch.

Bebe Stores opted to launch a catalog for its newer clothing line, rather than for its core brand, because the sportier apparel has a longer shelf life. “It seemed appropriate based on the longevity of the collection,” Alvarenga explains.

From the get-go, the catalog outperformed company expectations, Alvarenga says. The next mailing is planned for fall.

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