Gall’s doesn’t fool around. That’s clear from the cover of the marketer’s 1997 summer edition, which features a stern police officer, rifle at the ready, above the cover line “Gall’s Introduces…Clothing Tough Enough to Meet the Demands of Your Profession.” The cataloger, which sells apparel and equipment for police and other public safety professionals, “certainly identifies with its market,” says one judge. Notes another panelist, “Guns and uniforms-you pay attention!”
This identification goes much deeper than just the cover. Take the merchandise selection. Gall’s product line runs the gamut, from badges to boots, batons to barrier tape, lights for the top of a vehicle to mini flashlights that fit in the palm of a hand. “Gall’s has figured out what safety professionals need and outfits them from top to bottom,” a judge says.
The breadth of the merchandise offerings could have been overwhelming, had Gall’s not placed a premium on organization and navigation, with a concise, color-coded table of contents on page 2. Also, beside each page number appears the product category-”Medical Supplies,” for instance, or “Traffic Safety”-in a colored box that corresponds to the hues on the contents page. An index in the back of the book offers a more detailed guide to products, and as the tag line on the index notes, “Don’t see what you need listed here? Just call…we can probably supply it for you.”
Having presented readers with a vast array of merchandise to choose from, Gall’s also provides them with reasons to buy. “Refillable First Responder O2 Kit Makes Sure You’re Ready When You’re First on the Scene,” reads one product headline; “Intercom Systems Assure Clear Communication and Cut Response Time-When Seconds Count!” urges another. Then, too, “the copy is constantly pointing out savings, with headlines such as ‘Get More Uniform for Your Money with Sentry Plus,’” observes a judge. And don’t forget the smaller callouts touting free hemming and free emblem application.
Those free services are just a sampling of Gall’s commitment to service. A center insert includes four pages of information about ordering, delivery, payment, pricing, and sizing. Same-day shipping and two-day delivery are standard, the company accepts C.O.D. orders, the guarantee is unconditional, and Gall’s even gives customers who send labels from duplicate mailings $5 off their next purchase.
Another insert in the catalog doesn’t sell product or promote service, but it nonetheless exemplifies the cataloger’s identification with its buyers. Titled “In the Line of Duty,” the four-page insert features vignettes from readers. That busy public safety professionals would make the effort to write to a catalog shows that they view Gall’s not as a mere supplier, but rather as a partner.