Marshall Field’s Reenters Catalog Business

Upscale Chicago retailer Marshall Field’s, which exited the mail order business in the early 1990s, will return to mailboxes in August with not one but three catalogs.

The three books, which will sell general merchandise, apparel, and home goods, will target customers within the vicinity of the 64 Marshall Field’s department stores throughout the Midwest as well as prospects outside store regions.

“It’s part of an expansion of our Marshall Field’s brand,” says Heidi Weaver, a spokesperson for the Marshall Field’s division of Minneapolis-based Target Corp. “The catalog is part of a bigger initiative that ties to our September 2001 opening of a Target store on the Amazon.com site.” In that arrangement, all of Target’s properties — including the Target, Marshall Field’s, and Mervyn’s stores — gained the benefits of Amazon’s e-commerce platform and vast customer base to grow their online sales.

In addition to Marshall Field’s, Target Corp. operates the Signals gifts catalog; the Seasons and Wireless titles will be folded into the Marshall Field’s book. Weaver won’t specify circulation figures or even the frequency of the Marshall Field’s relaunch because “the catalog is still in development.” But she notes that the catalogs will contain products sold in Marshall Field’s stores and on its Website, as well as some exclusives. Since the late spring, Marshall Field’s has promoted the forthcoming catalog on its Website by offering customers 10% off their first order if they requested the new book by July 31.

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