Men definitely won’t be looking at Playboy’s newest publication, Gear Up, for the articles. Rather, they’ll be perusing it for its gadgets and gizmos. Launched in May, Gear Up created to complement the existing Playboy Store catalog. “We were looking for way to grow the e-commerce business aside from what we normally do and it became a natural extension,” says Phil Jacus, director of marketing and e-commerce for Chicago-based Gear Up and Playboystore.com.
The 32-page Gear Up catalog mailed to 500,000 names. Between 95%-99% of them were prospects. Jacus won’t release specific sales information, but he says he is “comfortable with where [Gear Up] landed.” The catalog’s average order size was $86, with 2.5 items per order. Products range from a Playboy 2-Deck Card Set for $8.95 to a $1,195.95 RoboMower automatic lawn mower.
Playboy launched the catalog during the first half of the year to create a following for it during the upcoming holiday season. “We knew from a prospecting point of view that there’s a lot of competitive catalogs out there,” such as Sharper Image and Brookstone. “By launching in spring we could build up our house file and can exchange it in the fall and get files that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to get.”