Boston Proper gets the travel bug

Boca Raton, FL-based Boston Proper is venturing into new territory. The women’s apparel cataloger will mail 2.5 million copies of a 76-page travel clothing spin-off in March.

President/CEO Michael Tiernan says that Boston Proper will mail half of the catalogs to its house file and the rest to prospects. Photographed at the La Samanna Resort on the Caribbean island of St. Martin, Boston Proper Travel sells items such as wrinkle-free twills, swimwear, golf and tennis coordinates, and lightweight luggage and accessories.

An e-mail survey ofBoston Proper customers “revealed a need for clothes when traveling,” says Tiernan, who notes that the company is continually looking out for growth opportunities. A similar e-mail survey led to the company’s launch of Boston Proper Sport, a women’s workout wear title that first mailed in December 2002.

“Based on past sales and customer feedback, the Boston Proper customer loves to travel and wants to look sexy, effortlessly and without forsaking comfort,” says Skip Hartzell, the company’s executive vice president/chief creative Internet officer. The $84.5 million company targets women 35-55 years old with a household income of at least $75,000.

Boston Proper will wait to see how the Travel book resonates with customers before mailing a second edition. “Depending on the strength of the book, we may mail it again for the fall, but that’s a little premature at this point,” Tiernan says. “Our hope is that Boston Proper Travel will turn into a series of books.”

Even if it doesn’t, the company still plans to keep developing merchandise for travelers throughout the year. For instance, Tiernan is considering testing a spread or two of travel product in the main Boston Proper catalog. For now, he adds, Boston Proper is not planning separate Websites for its Sport and Travel spin-offs.

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