Caswell-Massey: Cherchez Les Hommes

Toiletries marketer Caswell-Massey has been selling colognes and other products for men since 1752. But only recently did the Edison, NJ-based company get around to mailing a catalog specifically for men.

Caswell-Massey mailed 300,000 copies of a 36-page men’s spin-off in October to customers and rented names. The results, says president Wayne Garten, “exceeded expectations.” A second drop of the men’s book mailed in January; Caswell-Massey expects to mail more than 1 million copies of the title this year in four drops.

The men’s book sells shaving and other grooming accessories along with the company’s line of men’s fragrances. The products are also featured in the core catalog, which sells women’s toiletries as well. Caswell-Massey decided to launch the title after research showed solid growth within the personal care products industry — and especially among products for men. The company’s direct business accounts for 40% of sales; Caswell-Massey also operates a retail chain and a wholesale division.

NEW BOOK, NEW OWNER

Caswell-Massey has been under new ownership since July, when it was acquired by Pompano, FL-based BFMA Holdings. BFMA chief executive Barry Florescue once owned automat operator Horn & Hardart, which itself had once owned catalog holding company Hanover House, now Hanover Direct. BFMA counts among its holdings Marietta Corp., a supplier of soap and other amenities to the lodging industry.

Shortly after the acquisition, Florescue brought in Garten, formerly of Micro Warehouse and Popular Club Plan, to consult. Garten was installed as president of Caswell-Massey this past January. In another Hanover Direct connection, Garten is also a board member of Chelsey Direct, which now has a controlling interest in Edgewater, NJ-based Hanover.

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