South Cape, Edition 6, 1999 (Australia)

South Cape’s mission statement is to offer through the mail “an exclusive range of classic clothing designed and produced to world-class standards for modern Australian lifestyles.” The company’s Edition 6 catalog, “Home for the Holidays with South Cape,” meets this objective handily – earning South Cape a Silver Award in the International Consumer category.

The front cover depicts a barefoot couple bathed in a golden light, dragging a Christmas tree down a beach. (Remember, December is summertime in Australia.) Inside, South Cape uses a clean grid layout with warm lifestyle and location photography. Catalog photos depict healthy, happy, and casually dressed people enjoying a relaxed seaside lifestyle, though judges noted that some of the images are fuzzy.

With this edition, South Cape introduces a mix of older and younger models to reflect an upward shift in the age of its target audience (over 30 years old). But one of the judges pointed out that “a broader choice of individual models might have helped sustain reader interest.”

The merchandising mix includes polo shirts, button-downs, linen-blend skirts, and plenty of accessories. The cataloger specifies that it has extended its range of golf apparel, as well as added more women’s clothing in larger sizes (shown on a plus-size model).

South Cape offers an impressive array of services, such as monogramming, free gift wrapping, and free hemming. The cataloger also devotes a full page on the back of the order form to extensive sizing charts. While the order form itself is complete, the company should put its toll-free ordering number on every spread, said one judge. South Cape’s statement and reinforcement of its guarantee and return policy “could also appear more frequently,” the judge added.

Although this edition was South Cape’s holiday catalog, the company states that it tried to keep the Christmas theme subtle, in order to give the book a longer shelf life. The catalog includes several gift items, which fit in nicely with the apparel merchandise. The selling copy is also effective. A page of gardening-related gifts begins “Gifts to make any friendship grow” and goes on to say “From our high quality gardening tools to the instant herb garden, you’ll find a gift that will suit anyone’s level of botanical expertise.”

In all, judges agreed that South Cape does a terrific job of capturing the spirit of the holidays and the casual Australian lifestyle.

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