Crutchfield Mails Canadian Catalog

After testing the Canadian market with a Website last fall, consumer electronics merchant Crutchfield this month launched a print catalog specifically for Canada.

The 36-page Crutchfield Canada catalog first mailed last week to 300,000 names, most of which came from co-op databases and rented lists; the rest came from the mailer’s house file. The company has not yet developed a 2008 circulation plan for the Canadian catalog, but CEO Bill Crutchfield says it will distribute a book in late fall.

The Crutchfield Canada Website debuted in November with a limited selection of televisions, home audio/video products, and accessories. Merchandise in the book and on the Website is priced in Canadian dollars; copy includes British English spellings used in Canada, such as “centre” and “catalogue.”

All 1,000 SKUs in the Crutchfield Canada collection are manufactured in that country for consumers there. That means all Canadian duties have been paid, and buyers are protected by full manufacturers’ warranties. Customers in Canada who had previously purchased items from Crutchfield were subject to tariffs, and were not protected by the U.S. warranties.

Crutchfield, who founded the Charlottesville, VA-based company in 1974, had been planning to launch in Canada, but says he waited until the merchant could provide product made specifically for customers in that country. He also wanted to ensure that Crutchfield would be able to provide proper customer service in Canada. Orders from the Canadian catalog and Website ship directly from a warehouse in Mississauga, Ontario, which will allows for fulfillment typically in one to two days.

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