After 10 years online, Candy Warehouse is taking the plunge into print cataloging. The Irwindale, CA-based Web merchant printed 12,000 copies of its first 16-page catalog, says president Chris Pratt. Candy Warehouse has been including the books with order packages since February.
“It’s been our No. 1 request for literally 10 years,” says Pratt about the catalog. “The candy business in general is a commodity that stretches the full age gamut, from kindergarten to nursing homes. The Internet lends itself to nostalgia, hard-to-find candy, along with Hershey kisses.”
The new catalog will allow customers to shop by candy color, he says, noting that many people buy from Candy Warehouse for special events. The catalog’s first page index allows customers to flip to the color of their choice and get ideas to match a particular event color scheme. It includes 12 candy color sections: white, black, silver, gold, pink, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and assorted.
Candy Warehouse’s site arranges products by category, such as nostalgic and old time candy, by brand, such as Willy Wonka candy, and by holidays or special occasions, such as baby showers. “Decorating with candy is kind of the idea,” Pratt says. The average order for CandyWarehouse.com—a bulk candy site–is around $100.
“We’re sending out the catalog with all orders now, and we plan to put together a strategy” for possible mailing the book,” Pratt says. CandyWarehouse now has a customer list of more than 250,000 names. “This year we’re gathering data and feedback on the current design,” he notes, adding that catalog creative is being outsourced.
What began as “an experiment to learn about the Internet,” Pratt says, has turned into a $7 million niche business. “People are buying from us for events like weddings and showers,” he says. “Older people are ordering from us, and I think that demographic is comfortable with a print catalog, so we made our first attempt at it.”