New York-based Holsted Marketing is primarily a provider of syndicated continuity programs for catalogers such as Blair Corp., Brylane, and Swiss Colony. But nine years after discontinuing its own jewelry catalog, Holsted is jumping back into the business. On March 10 it will mail 168,000 copies of its Holsted Jewelers catalog.
The 64-page digest-size catalog will target middle-income women ages 35-60, says president/CEO Victor Benson. In its previous incarnation, Holsted Jewelers targeted women 40-65. The new catalog offers “bigger, brighter, and bolder” jewelry styles, he says, focusing on current trends such as the shift toward white metal. The average price point, set at $35, is 10%-15% higher than that of the old catalog.
Holsted had folded the catalog in 1995 because “we were very much entrenched in [the syndicated continuity] business and found that trying to create a catalog business at that time was more than we were prepared to do,” Benson says. “We had stretched our resources more than we really felt we wanted to, so we decided to focus on our clients’ direct mail business, but there was a feeling that at some point in the future, we would go back into the catalog arena.”
Now, though, the company feels ready to branch out. What’s more, Benson says, “our capabilities in terms of sourcing product have improved dramatically.” Almost all of the 560 items featured in the debut catalog come from overseas vendors, primarily from Taiwan and Hong Kong. By sourcing from foreign vendors, Benson says, the company can offer the consumer a better value and be more competitive.
Benson says the catalog, which will mail to 40,000 house file names and 128,000 prospects, will most likely be available in a year to be mailed under the names of its clients as a continuity program. “We’ve gotten a couple of calls from clients, but we would prefer to get the program up and running and get all the wrinkles out first,” he explains.
A second mailing is scheduled for late August or early September. Benson expects the house file to grow 20%-40% between now and then. The company has not decided exactly how often the new book will mail, but Benson expects to mail at least three new editions sent out a year.