Norm Thompson puts Waterfront Living on hold

Less than two years after acquiring nautical home products and gifts catalog Waterfront Living, multititle mailer Norm Thompson Outfitters has put the book on hold.

The Hillsboro, OR-based company isn’t planning to shelve the book entirely. But it did not mail a holiday edition of Waterfront Living, and it is not sure when it will drop another edition. The company is trying to figure out how the title fits into its overall corporate strategy, says Craig Dewey, Norm Thomson’s senior vice president of catalog brands. “We need to determine how we will devote resources to it.”

As a lifestyle book appealing to consumers who love the water, Waterfront Living occupies a different niche than Norm Thompson’s other catalogs, which include apparel catalog Early Winters and home products book Solutions. “We didn’t have this exact type of catalog in our family before,” Dewey says.

Norm Thompson mailed a redesigned version of Waterfront Living in August 2002. The catalog was paginated by them, with indoor and outdoor settings as backdrops. But although the results from the August mailing were better than expected, according to Dewey, the company had already decided not to mail Waterfront Living during the holiday season.

The company is assessing the merchandise assortment for the next edition, which may mail in the spring or the summer. “Likely, when we relaunch, we’ll continue with five mailings a year,” Dewey says, which is the same frequency as when Norm Thompson acquired the book. “We don’t see it increasing its circulation much until we’ve really proven the concept and made sure it’s financially viable before we start filling up other mail dates.”

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