opinion & response

Oct 01, 2001 9:30 PM  By

Pregnant Pause for Baby Catalog Requests

I want to thank you for the wonderful resource you provide via the Catalog Age Website. I am amazed by the amount and depth of reliable, free information available. Having spent the past two months researching the catalog industry, I found your site to be invaluable.

I am launching a Website called CatalogBaby.com to introduce shoppers searching for baby, toddler, and nursing/maternity products to catalog and Internet merchants. Based on my experience these past two months, I am shocked that most of these catalog companies have been able to stay in business for as long as they have.

Starting in mid-July, I contacted 67 companies selling baby, nursing, and maternity-related products (in my wife’s name, not as a business). I contacted them in a variety of ways — phone, e-mail, Website forms, and fax.

By mid-August, I had received catalogs from only 19 marketers — less than one-third of all companies contacted! For the most part, it’s not the little, mom-and-pop operators that have yet to deliver but the bigger, more established catalogs.

Remember, these are companies whose prospective shoppers have very little time to wait. Customers in the baby/maternity market are short on time and need these products now. To make matters worse, within a few months their need for these products has often vanished. What’s the sense of mailing a catalog a month or more after a person requested — and needed — it?

I was disappointed when the catalogs didn’t arrive within a few days. I was shocked after a few weeks. A month later, I was in disbelief. Imagine how an expectant or new mother must feel.
Joe Chapuis
editor,
Required Reading for Online Success

Supplier Sings Our Praises

On behalf of all of us at Quality Casuals, I would like to thank you for giving us the opportunity to be featured in your publication (“Back on the Shelves,” August). Your professionalism in researching the article is to be commended. The article is very informative and hopefully will help our current and future customers with their quality issues. I’m sure your readers will agree with us about how well written the article was.
Doug Easly
sales and marketing director, Quality Casuals

Infotel Is Alive and Well

In response to Catalog Age’s article “Where Are They Now?” (June), Infotel is alive and thriving! We were a branch of MidWest Micro, which as you stated in the article was bought out by Global DirectMail in the mid-1990s. Infotel was included in that buyout. Global DirectMail subsequently changed its name to Systemax. The MidWest Micro/Infotel division later followed suit and became Systemax Manufacturing. The MidWest Micro sales division has since merged with Global Computer Supplies. Infotel Distributing, a wholly owned subsidiary of Systemax, services the solution provider/VAR markets.

The Infotel computer products catalog remains a free monthly publication sent to customers. It arrives at their door in two formats — one with pricing and one without — so that dealers may show their customers what they offer without losing control of their own profit margins.
Mark Blackford
marketing analyst, Infotel Distributing