On the Scene at eTail: Ralph Lauren to Launch Catalog Next Year

New York–David Lauren, chief creative and marketing officer for Ralph Lauren Media/Polo.com, says that the high-end fashion marketer will launch a mail order catalog “next spring or summer.”

Following his presentation during eTail 2001 at the Grand Hyatt here, Ralph Lauren’s son told CATALOG AGE that a Ralph Lauren catalog is under development. “We’re looking for a way to do it differently or uniquely,” he said. He then deferred to Ralph Lauren Media CEO Jeff Morgan, who said that the book will likely “mirror our Web catalog.”

Ralph Lauren had tested a home products catalog about six years ago. What took the company so long to return to the catalog arena? “It was a matter of priorities,” Morgan said. “And now multichannel/cross-channel/database marketing is clearly the direction we want to take.” For its initial mailings, the company plans to leverage its retail and Web customer database. “We’re in the process of building up our database through a centralized customer contact strategy,” Morgan said.

In addition to its retail presence in high-end department stores as well as its own store in New York, Ralph Lauren markets direct to consumers on its two Websites. Although its main site gives shoppers a chance to order online, a second site launched this past May–called Runway–teases browsers with offerings and extensive Ralph Lauren-focused fashion video entertainment but doesn’t allow for online shopping. Instead, customers must dial a toll-free number. The company has a fulfillment venture with ValueVision.

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