SPIN-OFFS

Oct 01, 2000 9:30 PM  By

Fisher-Price gets dressed Toy manufacturer/mailer launches apparel book Hoping to clothe the kids who play with its toys, Fisher-Price mailed more than 1 million copies of a 32-page apparel catalog in August.

The Clothes for Little People book sells apparel for newborns, toddlers, and preschoolers. Prices range from $9.50 for floral print tights to $49.50 for down bib overalls. While Fisher-Price, which is owned by toy giant Mattel, would not release any numbers on the new catalog’s sales or circulation, it plans to mail the book four times a year.

Measuring 8-1/4″ x 8-1/4″, Clothes for Little People has a smaller trim size than the Fisher-Price toy catalog (10-1/4″ x 10-1/4″), says Ken Wine, director of merchandising for Mattel Direct. The title is being mailed both inside the toy book and as a stand-alone.

Mattel decided that the print catalog (and a Web version on its site) would be the best way to market the new apparel line. For now, the company does not plan to sell the clothing in stores. The catalog is produced by Mattel Direct, but another Mattel division – Middleton, WI-based The Pleasant Co., which produces the American Girl catalog – is handling fulfullment for the clothing catalog.

The Fisher-Price apparel is merchandised by the same creative team that merchandises the toys, and the company is betting that a consistent brand image and high-quality standards will make the clothing line a hit with customers. For example, rather than printed stripes on shirts, Fisher-Price opted for yarn-dyed stripes for better wearability and less fading. “Just as the Fisher-Price toys have a legacy of being passed on to other children, we hope the clothing will be handed down from child to child,” Wine says.

…with Garges Purtee Garges Purtee is president of Porto Banus, a Marietta, GA-based women’s apparel catalog.

Where did you grow up? Atlanta.

What college did you attend?

I graduated from Southern Methodist University in 1973 with a major in journalism and a minor in marketing.

What was your first job out of college?

A buyer management trainee at Titche-Goettinger (now Dillard’s) in Dallas.

How did you get into the catalog business?

In 1975 I answered an ad for a fashion buyer for The Tog Shop, and I was hired during the first interview.

Which catalog do you most admire, and why?

Coldwater Creek. Even with the onslaught of the copycats, [founder] Dennis Pence has created a strong market identity.

Which catalogs do you shop from?

When I’m not shopping from Porto Banus, I shop with Coldwater Creek, Bloomingdale’s by Mail, California Style, and Nordstrom.

What’s your biggest worry in life?

Finding enough hours in the day to accomplish all that needs to occur.

What destination (that you have yet to visit) would you most like to travel to?

Phuket, Thailand.

If you could change one thing about the catalog business, what would it be, and how would you do it?

I would lower postage and paper prices. As far as how I would do it, let me know if you find a way!

Whom in the catalog industry do you most admire, and why?

Don Mokrynski of the list firm Mokrynski & Associates. I have known him since I started the A.B. Lambdin swim and resortwear catalog, and he has never failed to offer insight or advice – no matter what the topic.

What is the best book you have ever read? The Celestine Prophesy.

Who is your favorite cartoon character?

I used to love reading Archie and Veronica.

What is your secret obsession?

I love going to the spa and just being pampered for a day.

Who is your favorite musical artist?

I like a variety from LaBouche to Maxi Priest to Ricky Martin.

If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would you be?

Oprah.

How do you take your coffee? I don’t, but I love Diet Coke.

Window or aisle seat? Window.

Visa U.S.A., the San Francisco-based U.S division of the worldwide credit card company, has issued a series of guidelines instructing online merchants and Internet service providers (ISPs) how to protect cardholder information and online databases. The guidelines – dubbed the Cardholder Information Security Program – consists of 12 requirements for protecting Visa cardholder information.

Previously, the guidelines were merely security recommendations for Visa’s online merchants. Starting in the fourth quarter of 2000, however, the guidelines will become mandatory for ISPs assisting Visa transactions, while online marketers will be required to follow the guidelines by the end of 2001.

Under the 12 guidelines of the Cardholder Information Security Program, companies are required to:

1. Install and maintain a network firewall to protect data accessible via the Internet.

2. Keep security patches up to date.

3. Encrypt stored data.

4. Encrypt any data sent across networks.

5. Use and regularly update antivirus software.

6. Restrict employee access to cardholder data unless the information is pertinent to employees’ work.

7. Assign a unique ID to each person with computer access to data.

8. Refrain from using vendor-supplied defaults for system passwords and other security parameters.

9. Track access to data by unique ID.

10. Regularly test the security system and processes.

11. Maintain a policy that addresses information security for employees and contractors.

12. Restrict physical access to cardholder information.