Happy New Millennium!

For the past year or so I have been moaning to anyone who would listen (and to more than a few who wouldn’t) that 2000 was not the first year of the millennium. All of last year’s extravagant celebrations were a year too early, I insisted.

But here at Catalog Age, we are celebrating the true new millennium in style. For starters, there’s our redesign. If you’ve made it this far in the magazine – heck, if you so much as glanced at the cover – you’ve surely noticed that we have a new look. The updated typeface, the larger photographs, and the color palette were all selected with one goal in mind: to make our magazine easier and more enjoyable for you to read. Kudos to group art director Richard Zoehrer and to our long-suffering art production manager, Kate Burgess!

We’re also introducing several additional departments and features. On page 51 we launch “Multichannel Challenge,” a bimonthly look at how catalogers are making the most of the plethora of marketing options available. This month, Ross-Simons’s Rick Isenberg talks frankly with writer Mark Del Franco about why the cataloger/retailer/ i.merchant has yet to fully integrate its back end. The department also features a guide to multichannel merchandise management systems by operations pro Ernie Schell.

Speaking of industry pros, Catalog Age is pleased to welcome respected consultant Jack Schmid as a regular contributor. Nearly every issue, in his column entitled “Catalog Analysis,” Jack will provide hands-on, step-by-step instructions on how to measure and analyze components of your business. Plus, our Website (www.CatalogAgemag.com) will feature downloadable versions of the tables featured in the column, as well as additional charts not displayed in the magazine.

In the coming weeks our Website, too, will be redesigned, with value-added features to better help you run your business. And future issues of the print magazine will offer other new departments and sections: bimonthly “Sector Reports” exploring the facts and figures of specific market segments; quarterly “Customer Care” sections devoted to service, one of the most critical facets of your business; more roundtables with catalogers.

I could rabbit on and on about the “new millennium” of Catalog Age. But time is short, and I’ve got New Year’s extravaganzas to attend. Here’s a toast to the first year of the true millennium!

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