Freud never asked “What do men want?” but Frontgate has. And after surveying its customers, the upscale home goods cataloger has created a spin-off for men entitled Gentlemen’s Domain. Launched in May, the catalog sells gifts for men of all ages.
The book mailed to a combination of Frontgate customers and prospects, says Dan Lally, a spokesperson for Cincinnati-based parent firm Cornerstone Brands. Lally won’t specify when subsequent issues will mail, but he says that they will likely be seasonal. Products run the gamut from a $40 power push-up exercise band to an $8,000 gas-powered estate vehicle.
“The tagline of the catalog — ‘things that men really want’ — speaks for itself,” Lally says. “The products in the catalog are not gizmos or tchotchkes. They are things that men at whatever stage of life want to have, to use, to play with, to work with. It’s for all the passions that come with the Y chromosome.”
The catalog’s premiere edition contains a feature on the assorted wants of the class of 2002, with young men who are graduating from high school and college detailing what they hope people will give them as graduation gifts. The issue also includes a “Cathy” cartoon on how difficult it is to shop for men.
The Gentlemen’s Domain Website makes an effort to develop a bond with customers by including stories on somewhat outrageous items that it doesn’t even sell. For instance, in a section called Over the Top, the article “How to Buy a Luxury Submarine, F-16, or MiG” refers to manufacturers of such items.
“We don’t get a commission on sales,” Lally says. “We’re not in the submarine business. We include it because we think it’s something our customers would be interested in.”