|Company||Price as of
year to date
|DIRECT TO CONSUMER|
|JILL||J. Jill Group||20.23||27.50||6.80||12.3||41.0||317.0||13.5|
|LVC||Lillian Vernon Corp.||5.75||8.25||5.50||(10.8)||(13.5)||257.0||0|
|DIRECT TO BUSINESS|
|BBOX||Black Box Corp.||$30.00||$58.77||$29.50||2.7||(43.3)||$691.0||13.9|
|CDWC||CDW Computer Centers||43.00||60.00||28.35||(10.2)||(19.9)||4,039.0||0|
|MSM||MSC Industrial Direct||10.35||24.36||9.30||(19.9)||(47.6)||800.0||0.4|
|NEB||New England Business Service||21.34||29.31||15.86||(3.0)||11.4||558.0||61.8|
|SSPY||Sport Supply Group||1.48||1.75||0.76||3.7||55.8||102.0||34.7|
|Source: Financial Advisory Partners and company filings|
September saw more winners than losers when it came to stock price values. Of the 19 companies tracked for Catalog Age by Des Moines, IA-based Financial Advisory Partners, 11 enjoyed a rise in stock price compared with the previous month.
Percentagewise, general merchandise cataloger/retailer Spiegel showed the greatest month-over-month improvement. Its stock rose more than 117%, to $0.96 per share. That’s still well off its 52-week high of $7.35, however. On the business-to-business side, the biggest gainer was PC Connection. Its price per share rose 28% during September. But again, at $5.44 a share, the value is still significantly below its 52-week high of $17.79.
Generally speaking, the gains on the consumer side were more dramatic than those of the b-to-b marketers. That trend, says Ken Packer, managing partner of Financial Advisory Partners, “continues to reflect respect for consumer spending, as it remains the growth engine of the current modest economic recovery. The softness in the business-to-business segment reflects continued uncertainty among businesses, leading to reductions in spending.”
Direct marketers can take solace in another emerging trend, Packer says: “The slip in market share experienced by direct marketers during recessions appears to be coming to an end. Share typically drops in a recession as a result of smarter catalog mailings that shrink unprofitable sales. But the industry is likely, we believe, to resume its decade-long trend of increased share of channel as the economy improves during the next six months.”