Vermont Country Store tests Essential Goods title

Weston, VT–Like so many aging celebrities,Vermont Country Store is pursuing youth. The venerable family-owned business, which began in 1946, last week test mailed Essential Goods, a spin-off catalog targeting younger baby boomers.

Given that the youngest of the Baby Boom are now pushing 40, Vermont Country Store is hardly straying from the 50-plus core customer it targets with its general store merchandise flagship book Voice of the Mountains, personal care and remedies title The Apothecary, and Goods & Wares–itself an April 1999 spin-off meant to target younger buyers. Moreover, Essential Goods has about 50% overlap in products with Voice of the Mountains, which sells men’s and women’s apparel, bed and bath products, and cleaning supplies.

The new catalog’s edge appears to be flashier creative as the four-color Essential Goods uses photography and promises a more contemporary style of copy than Vermont Country Stores other titles. (The black-and-white Voice of the Mountains is printed on newspaper stock, though Goods & Wares uses color photographs on a heavier paper stock.) According to a data card from Princeton, NJ-based list firm American List Counsel, Goods & Wares has 292,100 12-month buyers; Voice of the Mountains has more than 551,000 12-month buyers.

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