No Growth for Gardening Catalog Universe

May 06, 2010 7:52 PM  By

The gardening catalog market lost about 100,000 active names in the first quarter of 2010, according to New York-based list brokerage firm ParadysMatera.

The total 12-month active mailable universe for the segment of marketers that sell merchandise including floor covering, window treatments, lighting and outdoor decor was 5.4 million. That’s a drop of 445,000 names from the first quarter of 2009.

Why a 7.6% drop in active names? One reason is a decline of 12-month buyers from the Gardeners’ Choice list, a result of the recession, according to ParadyszMatera. Then there’s the demise of Smith & Hawken, which shut down in July, and meant the catalog/retailer’s 140,000 names were eliminated.

Based on lists that were active in the past year, the average house file size grew 4.9% between the first quarters of 2009 and 2010. Just 29% of the gardening catalog files saw some sort of growth, while 37% saw a decline. Nearly a quarter of the house files – 24% – saw a decline of 15% or more.

The value of gardening catalogs has remained essentially flat. In the first quarter of 2010, the average list cost per thousand for the market was $95.48/M, up 18-cents from $95.30 the previous year.