Culture for Kids
Master Communications founder/CEO Selina Yoon aims to give children insight into the cultures of the world with the launch of Culture for Kids. The new catalog’s product line is similar to that of the Cincinnati-based company’s eight-year-old Asia for Kids title — books, CDs, toys, and apparel. But while Asia for Kids sells Asia-themed merchandise, Culture for Kids offers multilingual products in more than 30 languages and related to hundreds of countries.
Culture for Kids first mailed in October. Yoon had originally intended to introduce the title in autumn 2001, but she postponed the launch following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The 300,000-piece catalog mailing went to the entire mailing list of Asia for Kids as well as to prospects.
Though Yoon says it’s a little too soon to gauge results, “the overall response has been positive,” and the launch is on plan. The catalog’s average order is expected to be around $80; its price points vary widely from $1 to $450.
Yoon relied exclusively on staffers to launch Culture for Kids. In retrospect, she says that the company should have hired consultants to prepare itself for the operations issues involved with rolling out a spin-off. “We added more than 1,000 SKUs overnight, and we had a lot of people running around,” Yoon says, though she hastens to add, “That’s now in control.”
First mailing date: October 2002 Size of distribution: 300,000 Target audience: parents and teachers Frequency: twice a year Competitors: Chinaberry, Learning Resources, Imagine the Challenge Average order size: $80 Number of pages: 96 Size: 8″ × 10-1/2″ Telephone: 800-888-9589
A steaming hot Tex-Mex meal is just a phone call away with the launch of Pedro’s Tamales. The new catalog delivers specialty foods packed in insulated cartons directly to your door.
Lubbock, TX-based Pedro’s Tamales started out as a manufacturer of tamales and other Tex-Mex products; it began drop-shipping items under a private label for a high-end cataloger in 1994. With the help of consultant Tony Cox, founder of Richardson, TX-based Catalog Solutions, in 1998 Pedro’s Tamales began mailing brochures and placing ads in Texas Monthly and Chili Pepper magazines. By 2001 the company was ringing up $250,000 annually in direct sales. All that was left, it seemed, was to introduce a catalog, which it did in November.
The initial 25,000-piece catalog drop was about a third of the size of Pedro’s Tamales’ previous brochure mailings, Cox says. But at press time, sales were trending 10% more than 2001 figures. Indeed, reports Pedro’s Tamales president/CEO Mike Hale, “we’re ahead of last year. We’re not hitting plan, but I’m still happy.” The average price point is $39.95.
Cox says he cut out all rented names for the catalog and stuck with mailing to house names. But he plans to increase circulation and eventually begin renting names.
First mailing date: November 2002 Size of distribution: 25,000 Target audience: Tex-Mex lovers Frequency: three times a year Competitors: Tex-Mex Gourmet, Salsa Express Average order size: $65 Number of pages: 16 Size: 8-3/8″ × 10-7/8″ Telephone: 800-522-9531
With the mailing of the WorldSoccerShop.com catalog, 365 Inc. founder/president Bernard Frei aims to tap into the country’s growing interest in soccer following the U.S. team’s strong showing in last year’s World Cup.
365 Inc. was founded in 1998 as a rugby and soccer news Website; the WorldSoccerShop.com online store was launched in February 2001, and the print catalog debuted in November 2002. Both the print and the online versions sell a host of jerseys, jackets, shirts, tracksuits, and caps from teams worldwide. Prices range from $10.99 to about $150.
The catalog targets passionate fans of soccer — largely European and South American immigrants. The Birmingham, AL-based company has built up a house file through its other Websites, such as Soccer365.com and WorldRugbyShop.com. Though Frei had not measured response from WorldSoccerShop.com’s first mailing, which was not fully complete at press time, he says, “It’s been a good reaction.”
At press time, Frei was still mailing the catalog but not actively promoting it, other than on his other Websites. But he plans to significantly build WorldSoccerShop.com’s mail order business by buying software and hiring more employees within the next 12 months. Why? Frei says he believes the U.S. will win the World Cup in the next 10-15 years, and “we want to be an established part of the territory when that happens.”
First mailing date: November 2002 Size of distribution: 50,000 Target audience: soccer enthusiasts Frequency: twice a year Competitors: Eurosport, Epic Soccer Equipment Average order size: $80 Number of pages: 8 Size: 8-1/2″ × 11″ Telephone: 888-722-8365
Candles have long been a hot home product. Now new catalog Windflame aims to bring them into the garden. Windflame, launched by Minneapolis-based Luminosities, sells wind-resistant floating candles for patios, walkways, and other outdoor uses.
Although Windflame will target businesses and consumers, the audience at this time is exclusively wholesale, says sales director Linda Arnesen. The 12-page debut issue mailed to a house list of wholesale buyers in August.
Arnesen says prices were purposely omitted from the catalog to allow retailers to display the catalog in shops while setting their own prices. Response was “fantastic,” she says. “We got lots of orders from the catalog.” Aside from the catalog drop, Windflame also sells through trade shows and sales reps, Arnesen says. The catalog’s average order size is $700; the average wholesale price point is $7.
Arnesen says Luminosities plans to tweak the product selection of Windflame: “We’re going to add new products, we’re going to drop some. We’re constantly trying to change our product look.” To promote the catalog, Arnesen says Windflame has offered discounts on display items and free shipping.
First mailing date: August 2002 Size of distribution: 1,500 Target audience: retailers, female consumers Frequency: once a year Competitors: Aaron’s Outdoors Average order size: $700 Number of pages: 12 Size: 9″ × 9″ Telephone: 866-Windflame