Penmaker Cross Mails Its First Catalog

It’s never too late to break into the catalog business. Just ask $128.6 million A.T. Cross, the 160-year-old manufacturer best known for its writing instruments. The Lincoln, RI-based company will drop a 20-page Cross catalog on Nov. 7 to an undisclosed number of customers and rented names.

The customer names were culled from warranty cards and Cross’s two stores in Massachusetts, says Monica Smith, president/CEO of Montclair, NJ-based consultancy Marketsmith, which helped Cross with the catalog. The company also has about 30 retail partners to which it sells merchandise.

In addition to pens, the Cross catalog features leather goods, such as portfolios as well as watches. Prices range from $45 to $395.

Depending on the catalog’s performance, Smith expects Cross to mail multiple times during 2006 as it tries to re-create the brand, “making the pen the accessory of choice for the American consumer, whether for personal use or as a gift item.”