Farewell, franc; goodbye, guilder. The euro is now the official currency of 12 members of the European Community (EC): Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain. The U.K., Sweden, and Denmark, while part of the EC, are retaining their native currencies for now.
The euro should make it easier for U.S. catalogers to sell their goods in Europe. Indeed, Ed Engle, international product marketer for industrial cleanup supplies cataloger New Pig Corp., calls the euro “a big help.” When investigating overseas markets in expand into, “we look at the currency exchange rates more closely, because once our prices are set, they are unchanged for a year,” he says. “Now prices will be the same in The Netherlands and Germany, for instance.”
But that doesn’t mean catalogers are going to be racing to enter the EC market. “We think the euro may be the catalyst to spur some interest by the U.S.-based catalogers to market internationally,” says Mark Bridges, vice president of international business at Hackensack, NJ-based list firm Mokrynski & Associates. “So far, though, it’s had little effect.”