To provide discerning beauty products buyers with another shopping channel, cosmetics Web marketer/retailer Bluemercury is now mailing a print catalog. The Washington, DC-based company’s first catalog dropped in December 1999 to a house file of 50,000 retail and Web customers.

The inspiration for the Website and the catalog was a pack of dedicated customers from outside the Washington area who would call to reorder Bluemercury’s hard-to-find beauty products and brands such as Nars, Shu Uemura, and T. LeClerc. “Customers were ordering blindly,” says founder/CEO Marla Malcolm, “so we knew if we could put the product in front of them with our own editorial about the products, we would get an even greater response.”

While Bluemercury can’t pinpoint the response rate, since the company does not tally up phone orders and Web orders separately, Malcolm says that the book’s average order is $98, compared to the average in-store purchase of $65 and the average Web buy of $85. For its fall mailing, Bluemercury plans to boost circulation using rented lists. The company also plans to add more products to the print catalog.

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