New Catalogs

Jul 01, 1998 9:30 PM  By

The Clayton Catalog A cigar is more than just a smoke these days. The $6 billion cigar industry includes accessories such as lighters, cutters, and humidors-items found in the Haverhill, MA-based Clayton Catalog of cigars and related accessories.

Founders Scott Richards and Gary Pituck-who also run a wholesale cigar products business-first mailed The Clayton Catalog in October. The 98,000 names used came from the house files of wholesale clients, rented lists of magazines such as GQ, The Robb Report, and Golf Digest, and a private list of cigar smokers from a former cigar industry executive.

The book targets professionals, most of whom are men 20-40 years old who are “trying to assimilate themselves into the status of being successful,” Richards says.

The $125 average order was higher than expected, but the 3%-4% response was lower because the magazine lists did not perform up to par, Richards claims. The next book will mail this summer.

Moon Song The personal and professional stress in her own life inspired Judith Light to create Moon Song, a catalog of relaxation products. “It’s not always possible to take off for Bermuda,” Light notes, so products such as massage oils, herbal teas, and nature-inspired music can help individuals deal with stress “in the moment,” she says.

The first edition of the Martinez, CA-based catalog mailed in March to 26,000 consumers in California, Oregon, and Washington; the names were rented from health-related magazines and music and gift catalogs. The target audience is professional women, many of whom are mothers, Light says, but “I’m also getting orders from men.”

Light is happy with the 2% response rate and $55 average order. The second edition, due in September, will have an expanded circulation of 250,000 and will be mailed to individuals in the Midwest as well as to people in the Northwest.

The Cookboook Rita Ali’s love of cookbooks led her to create The CookBook Catalog. The Peoria, IL-based catalog sells cookbooks in eight categories, including niches such as diabetic and vegetarian. “I don’t consider myself a famous cook,” she says. “I thought I’d put out a catalog that specialized in cookbooks.”

The first mailing, in October, went to 5,000 names. This was followed by drops each month through February of this year for a total of 30,000 pieces. Ali selected the names of credit cardholders and buyers of books via mail order from Database America, the primary source of the names. She also advertised in The Cookbook Collector’s Exchange, a publication for cookbook collectors.

The average order of $34 and the 2.5% response rate were in line with expectations. Response was “higher before the holidays than after the holidays,” Ali says. “Many people purchase cookbooks as gifts.” The next edition will be mailed in the fall.

The Southern Food Co. When Susan Batten, an ex-Southerner and actress on the soap opera One Life to Live, combined the Southern foods she grew up with and her “love of writing about the colorful people of the South,” she came up with The Southern Food Co., a catalog of Southern delicacies.

Featuring foods such as pecan crisps and cheese straws, the catalog mailed in May to about 5,000 names from Batten’s One Life to Live fan club; contacts in her hometown of Clayton, NC; and friends in the theater community. Batten says she’s targeting anyone with “an inclination toward Southern food.”

The $70 average order is higher than Batten had expected. For the next edition, due out in the fall, the circulation will increase by 15,000, to include subscribers of Southern Living.