Early Childhood Manufacturer’s Direct Puts Catalog into Play

After eight years as an online-only marketer of furniture for preschoolers, Early Childhood Manufacturer’s Direct (ECMD) has introduced a print catalog. Monterey, CA-based ECMD mailed 150,000 copies of its 260-page debut catalog in May to its own customers and customers of its parent company, Excelligence Learning Corp. Excelligence, which also owns cataloger Discount School Supply, acquired ECMD in February.

Discount School Supply sells arts and crafts materials to the same audience—preschools and childcare facilities—as ECMD. Excelligence wanted to get into the early-childhood furniture market, says ECMD founder Paul Estep, while ECMD was eager to get a catalog in the mail. “We had the product expertise, and they had the catalog expertise,” he says.

ECMD’s products have an average price point of $250-$300 and include cribs, tunnels, riding toys, and desks. The average order size has been $800, Estep says, and the catalog is performing 25% above expectations. A second mailing, scheduled for this month, will go to an additional 300,000 prospects.

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