J&R Music and Computer World
cofounder/co-CEO Rachelle Friedman surprised attendees when keynote speaker Jeff Bezos, founder/president/CEO of Amazon.com, announced that Amazon had signed the consumer electronics cataloger/retailer as a partner on Amazon’s Website.
Friedman came on stage briefly to comment on J&R’s new relationship with Amazon. Afterwards, she told Catalog Age that by having the company’s site housed on Amazon in addition to its own main site, “it gives us a very large audience associated with a very good company.”
But she went on to say that she disagreed with comments Bezos made about the future use of catalog mailings. In his speech, Bezos said “Ultimately, you will be able to stop mailing [catalogs] to online-only customers. “It will be hard to get there, and it will take a long time–perhaps decades.” But after the speech, Friedman said, “It’s very important to have catalogs,” she said. Catalog sales represent roughly half of J&R’s business. “When we send out catalogs, we get a big spike in sales in the catalog, on the Web, and in J&R’s store in lower Manhattan. People are comfortable with the Web, but the catalog is important too–one supports the other.”