No Sale Prices Here

With respect to the February article “Hanover Direct: The Saga Continues”, we would like to raise a point of clarification. Your article refers to Hanover’s Encore catalog as a “clearance book.”

Encore is a multititle customer acquisition book that includes merchandise from The Company Store, Domestications, and other Hanover catalogs. The merchandise is an ensemble of best-sellers from Hanover’s many catalog properties, and Hanover has not positioned Encore as a sale or clearance book. It is, however, a successful vehicle generating thousands of new buyers at full price — and yes, we are proud to manage the file!

Geoffrey Batrouney, executive vice president Estee Marketing Group

The Value of Catalog Shopping

According to the U.S. Postal Service, the benefits of catalog shopping extend far beyond service and convenience. Below, the USPS’s annual value of ordering by catalogs vs. driving to a store to shop:

Gas saved:

97 million gallons

Auto injuries averted:

3,159

Reduced air pollution:

66,000 tons

Accident property damage averted:

$447 million

Auto deaths averted:

38

CORRECTIONS/CLARIFICATIONS

In the article “Cleaning Up for Better Response” (January issue), we quoted a source as saying that “running NCOA will generally give you a 400% lift in response and sales.” He meant that there would be a 400% lift among the names that matched those in the NCOA database. Also, in the “Glossary of List Hygiene Terms,” the definition of LACS was incorrectly referred to as Locatable Address Collection Service; it is actually Locatable Address Conversion System.

In “Market Sector Report: School Supplies” (February issue), the Delta Education Catalog Buyers file was listed as having 17,769 12-month buyers. That information came from SRDS. Mark Hammar, manager of list owner relations for MSGi Direct, Delta’s list manager, says that SRDS did not have the correct information and that Delta has 61,399 12-month buyers.

Now That’s Serious Service!

Office supplies catalogers have long been the leaders in speedy service, so next-day delivery is nothing new for them. Still, we were most impressed with a recent experience with one marketer. A Catalog Age staffer placed a telephone order for some acetate binder covers with Woburn, MA-based office supplies cataloger Charrette on a Wednesday after 3 p.m., specifying standard delivery. The order arrived before noon the next day.

Dutch or Danish Good Times?

It’s hard to find something negative to say about Backroads, the lush active-vacations catalog, but we have a bone to pick with the Berkeley, CA-based company. A Catalog Age staffer who requested a Backroads catalog actually received two books: a 44-page specialty catalog and the 194-page full-line 2001-2002 edition. In the smaller book, a page showcasing a biking trip in the Netherlands shows a photo of a blonde woman enjoying a glass of white wine — presumably after an exhilarating day cycling through The Netherlands. In the larger catalog, however, the photo of the same woman appears on a page selling a bike trip in Denmark. It may sound nitpicky, but which biking trip did this woman actually participate in? For all we know, maybe she wasn’t even biking through Europe at all but on the walking tour on the Canadian Rockies. It could be a misplaced photo, or maybe it’s Backroads’ policy to mix and match photos. All the same, we don’t like it.

A Sign of the Times?

If you’re still not convinced that the economy has taken a turn for the worse, consider this: Pleasant Co.’s best-selling American Girl doll is Kit Kittredge, a child of the Great Depression. Of course, it helps that Kit — introduced in September — is also the newest of the seven American Girl dolls from Middleton, WI-based Pleasant Co., a division of toy giant Mattel. But spokesperson Julie Parks says that Kit is breaking all sales records: “She is the best-selling doll in a launch year.” The target audience of girls ages 7-12 is evidently responding to the doll and the six-book series that chronicles how the plucky Kit helps her family weather the Depression. Still, the $94 price tag for a doll-and-book set could create quite a depression of its own in the average nine-year-old’s wallet.

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