U.S. Cavalry Rides Back into the Mail

Jun 01, 2004 9:30 PM  By

Military and law enforcement supplies cataloger U.S. Cavalry is back in the mail. The company, under the new ownership of private investor group Cavalry Security Group, mailed its first namesake catalog in 18 months this past March. It had last mailed an edition of its CavPro title in August.

The Radcliff, KY-based cataloger had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June 2001 and emerged from it in March 2003 when it was acquired by Cavalry Security Group.

The 144-page U.S. Cavalry book mailed to 200,000 customers; 50,000-75,000 of the recipients are government contract customers, and the rest are individuals in the military or law enforcement professionals. Response has been “extremely strong,” with sales up among all customer segments, says Dennis Garvey, who joined the company this past fall as chief operating officer. “We have seen an increase in catalog requests on the Website from about 150 per day to about 500.”

Before filing for Chapter 11, U.S. Cavalry had alternated its namesake title with the CavPro brand, which through smaller catalogs and fliers sought to reach military installations and government sites. During much of its Chapter 11 period, the company drastically reduced its catalog circulation for both titles, relying mostly on its Website, two stores, and institutional contract sales to military and police departments. “Alternating between U.S. Cavalry and CavPro was the attempt to more actively pursue the managed-accounts market,” Garvey says. “But we came to realize that by going to the CavPro name, we were not leveraging our brand recognition, which was U.S. Cavalry.” The company has in fact abandoned the CavPro brand altogether.

U.S. Cavalry worked with New Rochelle, NY-based list firm Estee Marketing Group to rebuild its house file for the recent mailing. Estee also helped U.S. Cavalry find a service provider, Greensboro, NC-based WebDecisions, to manage its database.

With its revived catalog, U.S. Cavalry has also made some merchandising changes. “We have gotten away from gifts and novelty items and military surplus products,” Garvey says. “Now we’re more focused on presenting a more current and professionally oriented product line to our customers.”

Ten percent of the catalog is now devoted to U.S. Cavalry’s growing line of homeland security and antiterrorism defense products. New products include chemical/biological protective shelters, which can be quickly erected in homes in case of a terrorist attack, and a product that can be applied to walls to keep them from shattering during a bomb blast.