Two More Pure-Plays Expand Into Print

Continuing the trend of bringing the dot-com to the customer’s doorstep, Web marketers and recently launched catalogs.

Beyond cold tablets and antacids

Bellevue, WA-based online health and beauty products retailer mailed its 30-page Specialty Shops catalog in late August. Rather than the staple products, such as vitamins and medicines, spokesperson Kristine Jiminez says the catalog reflects the lifestyle products available in’s four online Specialty Shops: Relax & Indulge, Healthy Living, Be Beautiful, and For Those You Love. Skincare items, massagers, air filters, yoga products, paraffin spas, baby items, and pet goods help make up the approximately 60 SKUs offered. Prices range from $3.29 for Tom’s of Maine toothpaste to $139 for a polar heart monitor.

Of the 1.8 million copies printed, 650,000 were mailed, roughly half to prospects and half to customers. The remaining catalogs were distributed in more than 1 million and customer packages. “We’re targeting our basic demographic: busy women who dread the trip to the drugstore,” Jiminez says. “These are women who are interested in picking up specialty bath salts along with their toothpaste.”

Only the nearly 300,000 books that mailed to prospects include the catalog’s 800-number, because “we are assuming that the catalog will drive customers who have already been to the Website to the site to place orders,” Jiminez says. Shoppers whose catalogs don’t have the 800-number can call the customer service number available on the Website to order. “Using the 800-number is an experiment,” Jiminez says. “If it performs well, we might increase the number of books we put it on in future mailings.”

The company will mail another catalog the first week in November for the holiday season, though Jiminez says its page count and circulation have yet to be determined.

A magazine progeny

It’s no surprise that New York-based online fashion marketer has launched a print catalog: Its parent company, Advance Publications, produces such magazines as Vogue, Women’s Wear Daily, and Vanity Fair. mailed its debut catalog on Sept. 7 to more than 200,000 prospects and customers. The target audience is affluent women, ages 25-45, who have an interest in fashion and who frequently use the Internet.

About 5% of the catalogs went to shoppers and visitors who opted in for mailings; 20% were mailed to upscale Internet and apparel buyers obtained from rented lists; the remainder were mailed to subscribers of Advance’s Condé Nast/Fairchild Publications titles — “primarily Vogue and W,” says marketing director Elizabeth Stafford. used demographic, psychographic, and purchasing information to select from the subscriber names.

The catalog features an 800-number for customers to call and place orders, as well as the company’s Website address for shoppers who prefer to buy online. The toll-free number connects callers to a Neiman Marcus call center; the upscale cataloger/retailer is’s e-commerce partner and handles fulfillment.

The catalog does not include an order form, which Stafford says was a strategy to drive customers to the Website. “Our full merchandise offering is only available online,” she explains, “so we’d like to direct our customers to the online store.”

The catalog sells apparel, shoes, handbags, jewelry, and other accessories from more than 30 designers, including Michael Kors, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Manolo Blahnik, Kate Spade, and Marc Jacobs. “Our buyers work closely with the editors of Vogue and W magazines, as well as our own fashion editorial staff, to choose the merchandise,” Stafford says.

As you might expect from a partnership of Neiman Marcus and Vogue, the goods aren’t cheap. The average price point of the Website and catalog is $404, and the expected average order size is $300-$400.