Sundance’s Special spin-off

Southwestern-themed gifts marketer Sundance has put yet another spin-off in the mail. The Special Edition Catalog, which sells only limited-edition, high-priced exclusive crafts such as handcrafted baskets, jewelry, and pottery, mailed in October to 400,000 of Sundance’s most affluent and frequent buyers and to 100,000 affluent prospects.

The holiday season is the ideal time to test spin-offs because “there is much less price resistance among shoppers,” notes Andrea Lawson-Gray, president of San Francisco-based catalog agency Aesthetics Marketing. And Special Edition’s offerings are definitely pricey. For example, a set of three Mexican handmade iron candlesticks sells for $845; a “one of a kind” shearling ranch coat sells for $3,750.

Although Salt Lake City-based Sundance was still evaluating response rates at press time, “we hope to offer a Special Edition every holiday and possibly a few other times throughout the year,” says company president/ CEO Patricia Warren.

Sundance’s earlier spin-offs, the Jewelry catalog (launched in 1996) and casual apparel catalog Rural Route 3 (launched last August), are “doing well,” Warren says. “We’ve already made up for the prospecting costs of Rural Route 3’s first mailing, and we intend to increase page counts and frequency next year.”

Also next year, the company plans to launch the Sundance Organic Farms catalog, which will sell soaps, fragrances, and decorative items from Sundance’s Organic Farms division.

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