Now that they’ve tallied the results from the 2003 holiday season, consumer catalogers are using the information they’ve gleaned to improve their marketing strategies for 2004.
For instance, John Clark, owner of San Francisco-based Clark’s Register, will be taking “a very aggressive approach in 2004.” The men’s apparel cataloger met plan, with sales up 20% from fall/holiday 2001. (The company didn’t mail in 2002.) Clark is may increase circulation as much as 20%-30% this year.
Boca Raton, FL-based The Mark Group will likely increase circulation as well, based on its 2003 holiday performance. Doug Brown, vice president of circulation for the parent company of women’s apparel cataloger Boston Proper and gifts title Charles Keath were up 17% from 2002’s and 6% above plan on flat circulation and an 11% increase in page count.
Also poised for growth is women’s apparel and jewelry cataloger J. Marco. Holiday sales for the Seville, OH-based mailer rose 30%, exceeding projections, on a 50% rise in circulation. “Our increased circulation allowed us to test the limits of our new, larger facilities [the company moved into a 300% larger facility in May 2002] and test the abilities of all our employees to handle the requirements needed in merchandising, the call center, and distribution,” says president Cory Smith. His goal is to increase sales 20% this year, in part by expanding circulation and adding petite and plus-size product offerings.
At New York-based Bloomingdale’s Direct, holiday 2003 taught the apparel and home decor cataloger “quite a bit about how and when we communicate with our customer using e-mails,” says president Franz Weiglein. “Our testing in this area will allow us to better integrate next year’s catalog mailings with e-mails dealing with catalog notification, category/style selling, and sales/promotions.”