In some ways it’s hard to believe that this magazine is turning 25 this year. In other ways, it’s difficult to imagine the catalog — now the multichannel marketing — industry without us.
The catalog business has gone through some incredible changes since 1983 — the evolution from low-end general merchandise big books to upscale specialty titles; the proliferation of consumer credit and the shift from mail order to toll-free order lines; the landmark tax decision Quill v. North Dakota, the rise and fall and rise of major players like Sears and Spiegel. And of course, there’s the advent of the Internet, which drastically changed the retail playing field.
We’ve changed, too. While we were once a print-only publication called Catalog Age, we’ve evolved to a multichannel media brand. With our print magazine, Website, e-newsletters, Webinars, and conferences, we use a variety of channels to get you the information you need to better run your business.
When we changed our name to Multichannel Merchant three years ago, several readers thought we were crazy to give up the brand equity in Catalog Age (and they weren’t shy abut letting us know how they felt). But many of even the most vocal detractors have since admitted the change made sense.
We thought so. We’ve been at the forefront of Internet commerce because our readers were so quick to embrace it. By the time we changed the name to reflect it, we’d been covering multiple channels for nearly a decade.
But enough about the past. We generally prefer to look forward, although it was fun to see some of the old catalogs for our “Then and now” story on page 13. And we’ve got some big changes coming up, starting with an exciting redesign we’ll unveil very soon. Attendees of the Annual Conference for Catalog and Multichannel Merchants (ACCM) in Orlando this month will get a sneak peek at our new look.
One thing that won’t change: our dedication to covering the news, topics, technology and companies you need to know about. We have a great team, including new member Patrick Barnard, who recently joined us as managing editor, and we aim to continue our reign as the leader in multichannel marketing coverage.
As they say, onward and upward.