SPIN-OFFS

Oct 01, 1999 9:30 PM  By

Think of Hanover Direct’s newest title, Encore, as a “greatest hits” catalog. The book, which launched in August, sells products from eight of Hanover’s 13 other catalogs, including housewares book Domestications, upscale gifts title Gump’s by Mail, and plus-size women’s apparel catalog Silhouettes.

According to Richard Hoffman, president/COO of the company’s $546.1 million Hanover Brands catalog division, one purpose of Encore is to cross-prospect among Hanover’s 14 million 12-month buyers. For instance, a customer who has bought only linens from Domestications may find in Encore a home maintenance item from the Improvements Catalog.

“We also see Encore as a way to reintroduce those who have not purchased for 24 or 36 months,” Hoffman says, adding that Hanover has mailed the catalog to rented names as a prospecting tool as well.

While Hoffman won’t disclose exact mailing quantities or results, he says the company is mailing “in the millions” of Encore catalogs, and that the average order size is in line with the composite average order of the other Hanover titles. Response rates are “equal to or above” the response that Hanover has achieved using co-op databases and other prospecting methods, he says. According to Hanover Direct CEO Rakesh Kaul, “We were very surprised at the success of this book. Encore has generated top-line growth via new customers.”

Encore’s success is encouraging Hanover Direct to expand the title. The company plans to offer space in the book to the 18 clients of its Keystone Fulfillment division, which include L.L. Knickerbocker Co. and United Retail Group.