Euro anticlimax

Much ado about nothing: That sums up catalogers’ view of the Jan. 1, 1999, debut of the euro. While Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain are slowly adopting the new currency of the European Union (EU), U.S. catalogers marketing overseas aren’t rushing to price their products in euros.

The mandatory implementation is January 2002, after which time EU countries and companies marketing there will have three months to price all products in euros. Meanwhile, “we haven’t printed euro prices in our [European] catalogs,” says Guy Marhewka, vice president of international for Branford, CT-based safety supplies mailer Seton Nameplate. “We’ll probably start listing euro prices six months before the mandate takes effect.”

But some experts advise a more proactive approach. Gordon Ellis-Brown, manager/creative director of Hampshire, England-based consultancy Gordon Ellis-Brown & Associates, suggests getting customers used to the new currency by printing prices in euros as well as in the local currency now.