Equine Discount USA The former owner of PetSmart’s Equine Supply catalog is back in the mail order saddle. In February, Vern Wiese launched Equine Discount USA, an Eldon, MO-based consumer catalog that sells English and Western saddles, tack, fly sprays, supplements, blankets, and other horse-related products.
“We have everything a horse owner needs, including some riding apparel,” Wiese says. The catalog’s average order exceeds $100; the response rate was too early to call at press time.
To obtain names, Wiese swaps lists with suppliers, rents compiled lists of horse owners, and solicits catalog requests from his Website (www.equinediscount.com). He says he has also tested all the horse magazine subscriber lists on the market.
Wiese has been mailing 30,000 catalogs on the first of each month. He expects to take a short break after May to revamp the book and will then increase monthly mailings. The former cataloger says he returned to mail order after selling his company seven years ago because “I missed the business.”
Imagine the Challenge As a parent and former teacher, Bonnie Savage takes a personal interest in marketing educational products. That’s why Savage-whose husband owns the Sid Savage Auto Dealer catalog of auto parts-started Imagine the Challenge, a catalog of “smart” toys, games, and books that targets the parents and grandparents of young children.
Adam Carrick, vice president of the Taylor, MI-based catalog, says that Imagine the Challenge tried a number of lists, including compiled lists, publications, and exchanges with other catalogs. “We were disappointed in the compiled and publication lists, but we did well when we exchanged names with [co-op databases] Abacus and SmartBase.”
After initially mailing 250,000 catalogs last September, the company plans to increase circulation, largely by relying more on list exchanges. “We did a good job of estimating our response,” Carrick says, though he won’t cite specific figures. The catalog’s average order is $75.
Alloy Here’s a switch: While many print catalogers are launching Websites, online teen apparel marketer Alloy.com has mailed its first print catalog. Using the names of registered Website visitors, Alloy first mailed 150,000 catalogs in November 1998. Matt Diamond, CEO of the New York-based company, says the catalog continues to go out about every five weeks. Like the Website, the print catalog sell clothes and accessories for teenage boys and girls.
Although he declines to give numbers, Diamond says the test response “exceeded expectations.” While the company is generating names from its Website in order to grow the catalog, it is also using the book to promote the online catalog. As online sales grow, Alloy will mail fewer catalogs, Diamond says.
Cyrk’s C3 he “C3″ stands for “Cyrk Clothing Co.” in the title of a new catalog from the Gloucester, MA-based promotions marketing company Cyrk.
C3, which sells promotional clothing for men and women, was developed primarily to introduce quality women’s wear into the promotional clothing market, which has long been dominated by men’s clothing manufactured with heavy fabrics. “Our customers were asking for a women’s line,” says Ruth Hagopian, Cyrk’s merchandising director. “Previously customers were unhappy with the fit and styling of corporate wear offered by other promotional companies.”
The response has been positive, says Anne Crowe, marketing manager of Cyrk’s corporate promotions group. “It’s beating our expectations.”