SPIN-OFFS: Miles goes younger

New Miles Kimball title targets `next generation’

Keeping in mind that many customers of its flagship low-end housewares and gifts book are getting on in years, Miles Kimball in February spun off a general merchandise catalog targeting younger buyers, ages 35-60.

Titled Arbor Cove, the new book mailed to more than 500,000 Miles Kimball customers and rented names. “We want to capitalize on our Miles Kimball sourcing and product development strengths in finding ways for Arbor Cove customers to simplify home life,” says Susan Huber, executive vice president of merchandising for Oshkosh, WI-based Miles Kimball.

Comparing the two books, Huber says that Arbor Cove “is not so much a rebirth of Miles Kimball, but rather the next generation.” She adds that the $150 million company has no plans to cross-market Arbor Cove to customers of its higher-end Exposures and Exposures Homes catalogs, which sell picture frames and other home decor items.

In terms of income, the Arbor Cove target audience is slightly more upscale than Miles Kimball’s 1.8 million 12-month buyers, Huber says, but not as affluent as the 194,301 Exposures 12-month buyers and the 37,024 Exposures Homes 12-month buyers. Arbor Cove’s kitchen, home, and garden products are moderately more expensive than those sold in the core Miles Kimball title. Like the $22 copper salt-and-pepper shaker set and the $30 wicker newspaper basket, the majority of items in Arbor Cove are priced between $15 and $50.

The Feb. 14 drop and a subsequent February remail were the first two of four mailings scheduled for 2000. A second catalog edition with a remail will follow in the fall. “This book is a test and in its infancy,” Huber says. “We are evaluating all the elements: product mix, price points, density, list performance” before determining when to embark on a full rollout, she adds.

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