Crutchfield expands to Canada

Aug 01, 2007 9:30 PM  By

After testing the market with a Website this past fall, consumer electronics merchant Crutchfield has launched a print catalog in Canada.

The 36-page Crutchfield Canada book was mailed in late June to 300,000 names, most of which came from co-op databases and rented lists. A small percentage came from the mailer’s house file.

The company has not yet developed a 2008 circulation plan, but CEO Bill Crutchfield says it will distribute another edition in late fall.

The Canadian Website (www.crutchfieldcanada.com) debuted last November, featuring a limited selection of televisions, home audio/video products, and accessories.

Both the Website and catalog are tailored for the local market. Prices are in Canadian dollars, and the copy uses British spellings like “centre” and “catalogue.”

In addition, all 1,000 SKUs in the Crutchfield Canada collection are manufactured in that country. That means all duties have been paid, and buyers are protected by manufacturers’ warranties. Canadian consumers who had previously purchased items from Crutchfield were subject to tariffs, and were not protected by the U.S. warranties.

Bill Crutchfield, who founded the catalog company in 1974, had been planning to move into Canada for a while. But he held off until the company could provide product made specifically for customers in that country, he says.

He also wanted to ensure that his firm would be able to provide proper customer service in Canada.

Orders from both the catalog and Website ship directly from a warehouse in Mississauga, Ontario, which will allow for fulfillment typically in one to two days.

The electronics marketer isn’t the only U.S. mailer taking an interest in Canada. Apparel cataloger L.L. Bean announced plans in January to expand its presence there. The firm has generated a 30% increase in Canadian sales during the past three years.