Then: All Things Considered mailed to 1 million names in July 1996 as a spin-off of Omaha, NE-based gift cataloger Tender Heart Treasures. The 10-page catalog of decorative and functional baskets for the home was profiled in our December 1996 issue.

Since then: After a second mailing went out for the 1996 holiday season, Tender Heart Treasures pulled the plug on the book, largely because the two catalogs were too similar. All Things Considered had received a 4% response from Tender Heart Treasures buyers compared with a 2% response rate from prospects. Tender Heart Treasures marketing manager Betty Camenzind says All Things Considered was relaunched in 1997 as A Special Place, which sold decorative items and gifts with a Victorian, romantic style.

Now: A Special Place was rolled into the core Tender Heart Treasures catalog in 2005, Camenzind says, again citing the similarities between the two books. The company would not divulge circulation numbers.


Then: Terry SportSkorts debuted as a test spin-off of the Terry Precision Cycling catalog in January 2001. About 105,000 copies of the 24-page book mailed. The apparel catalog, which sold Terry-brand activewear skorts — a combination shorts/skirt — as its core product, was profiled in the November 2001 issue.

Since then: The SportSkorts catalog’s circulation peaked at 200,000, with an average order of $110. But Macedon, NY-based Terry consolidated the book into its core cycling catalog in 2003, says the company’s vice president of marketing Paula Dyba, due to limited resources.

Now: Skorts still make up 28% of all Terry apparel items sold through through its catalog and online. The company, which has a house file of more than 19,000 names, uses its cycling catalog and insert media to drive sales.


Then: In May 2002, Parsippany, NJ-based Nabisco, a division of Kraft Foods, launched a print catalog to accompany its NabiscoGifts.com e-commerce site. Nabisco had produced a food catalog in the mid-1990s and folded it in 2000 due to fulfillment issues. The new title sold munchies in gift tins, baskets, and other specialty containers, offering free shipping to encourage the use of promotion codes, which it hoped would lead to more-targeted mailings. Nabisco mailed 250,000 copies of the 12-page debut catalog, 80% to its house file and the balance to prospects. The catalog was profiled in our October 2002 issue.

Since then: Kraft Foods got out of the gift business in June 2003, says Nabisco spokesperson Laurie Guzzinati. As a result, it shut down the NabiscoGifts.com catalog and Website. But the company invited customers to visit its broader ShopKraftFoods.com online store.

Now: ShopKraftFoods.com recently became more of an entertainment and education Website, but it does still sell some Nabisco products, including Barnum’s Animals Crackers, Multigrain Premium Saltines, and National Arrowroot Biscuits.


Then: Founded by exercise physiologist Beth Hilpert, Round Rock, TX-based Mothers in Motion, a merchant of athletic apparel for expectant mothers, launched a 16-page print catalog in September 2000. The annual book mailed 50,000-60,000 copies and was profiled in our August 2001 issue.

Since then: At the height of its catalog business, Mothers in Motion dropped 500,000 books annually and had an average order size of $50 to $75. But it stopped producing a print catalog in November 2004, when it partnered with Jacques Moret, a New York-based manufacturer/marketer of bodywear and activewear for women. Hilpert says the partnership allows her company to focus on design and wholesaling rather than on inventories and cash-flow issues.

Now: Mothers in Motion’s products are sold primarily on TV shopping network/online merchant QVC, though the line can also be found online at U.S. sites Fit Maternity, Breakout Bras, Two Roads Fitness, One Cool Mama, and Baby Center in the U.S. and U.K. site Active Mums. Hilpert says as its business on QVC grows, it will consider additional channels of distribution.


Then: Elk Grove Village, IL-based entertainment cataloger Critics’ Choice Video spun off The Movie Book in September 1991. The 76-page catalog, which had mailed to about 500,000 names rented from Spiegel, was profiled in our July 1992 issue.

Since then: Targeted to upscale home entertainment enthusiasts, the catalog sold a wide variety of movies on VHS cassettes. To make The Movie Book more family-oriented, Critics’ Choice stripped R-rated titles from the merchandise selection, replacing them with additional titles for children.

Now: The Movie Book catalog served its purpose — to grow Critics’ Choice Video’s house file via a partnership with Spiegel — so the company shelved the title in 1996, says director of merchandising Rob Terry. Itasca, IL-based Infinity Resources acquired Critics’ Choice Video in October 2000. Critics’ Choice Video today prints and distributes 20 million catalogs a year and stocks more than 50,000 movies, now mostly on DVD.


Then: British broadcaster BBC released the BBC America Shop print catalog in September 2001, three years after it launched its BBC America cable-TV network. The 12-page inaugural catalog, selling network-related videos, gifts, and books, was profiled in our June 2002 issue.

Since then: Between 2004 and 2005 alone, the number of 12-month buyers grew more than 20%, to nearly 70,000. Spokesperson Mary O’Reilly says the average order value has remained relatively steady at about $90. The product line has expanded, though, with more-expensive furniture and collectibles added to the mix.

Now: Today the 40-page BBC America Shop catalog mails six times a year. The print book accounts for approximately 60% of overall revenue; the other 40% comes from the Website.


Then: Founded in 1996, Taylor, MI-based educational toys merchant Imagine the Challenge mailed its first catalog in September 1998. The biannual 40-page book was profiled in our May 1999 issue.

Since then: Imagine the Challenge has steadily increased the frequency of its mailings, says vice president Adam Carrick, who has been with the company from the beginning. “We had fewer drops per year starting out, but rethought things given the toy business’ very seasonal nature.”

Now: As of 2005 the company’s 60-page catalog mails 12 times a year, with mailings concentrated during the Christmas season, which accounts for more than 70% of its business. The average order size is now $85, up slightly from $75 in 1999; annual circulation is about 5 million. The Website accounts for nearly 40% of revenue.


Then: After 27 years in business, Highland Heights, OH-based gifts retailer Things Remembered mailed its first catalog in 1998. The wedding-oriented catalog was featured in our April 1998 issue.

Since then: The $363 million Things Remembered continued the catalog. In fact, it now mails around 5 million catalogs annually in three categories: wedding, business, and general consumer, says vice president of marketing Terry Mulhern. Each of the three books mails biannually. Italian eyewear group Luxottica inherited Things Remembered in a 2004 acquisition of eyeglass retailer Cole National.

Now: Combined catalog and Web sales account for about 8.5% of Things Remembered’s overall sales, or roughly $31 million; the company would not release actual catalog numbers. Earlier this year, Multichannel Merchant reported that Things Remembered is on the selling block. Luxottica CEO Andrea Guerra said on Feb. 1 in a discussion with analysts that the company hoped to sell the gifts cataloger/retailer by June. Things Remembered president Suzanne Sutter would not comment on the company’s status, however.


Then: Founded as a wholesaler/retailer in Kansas City, MO, in 1989, Three Dog Bakery mailed its first 16-page catalog of “gourmet” dog treats in June 1995. It was featured in the “New Catalogs” section of our March 1996 issue.

Since then: By 2001 the company had 23 bakery locations. That same year it discontinued its catalog and instead began circulating one-piece mailers it called “dogalogs” to existing customers. Today these fliers are also distributed at retail locations. Current CEO Bob Islinger arrived in 2002; he further reinforced the retail arm and beefed up the wholesale unit. In 2003 he put Three Dog Bakery products in more than 10,000 grocery stores across the U.S., including Wegman’s, Kroger, and Publix.

Now: Three Dog Bakery has 38 stores. One is owned by the company in Kansas City; the others are licensed with agreements that enable the owner/operators to sell products in addition to the namesake line. The wholesale and retail business account for about 40% and 45% of revenue respectively, with the rest coming from Web sales (12%) and mail order (about 3%).


Catalog then: A spinoff of Asia for Kids, published by Cincinnati-based Master Communications, Culture for Kids debuted in October 2002. The catalog of multicultural educational products was featured in the “New Catalogs” section of our February 2003 issue.

Since then: The No Child Left Behind education reform act has made selling to the educational market a little trickier. “The government has really tightened things up,” says CEO/founder Selina Yoon. “We had to become far more customer oriented to keep up with these stringent rules.” For instance, teachers must write to the federal government to explain why it should approve and pay for a particular course of study; Culture for Kids helps them draft such letters.

Today: Though the page count has remained steady at 96 pages, circulation has grown steadily; the catalog is mailed to nearly 400,000 parents and teachers. Sales from Culture for Kids and Asia for Kids account for nearly 70% of Master Communications’ revenue; the company also produces its own lines of multilingual educational products and provides consulting services.


In this new monthly feature, we’ll be catching up with merchants that we’d featured in our “New Catalogs” or “New Web Catalogs” department in the past. Kicking things off: TeaLuxe.

Catalog then: Launched in September 2000, the catalog of gourmet tea accessories was featured in the January 2001 issue.

Since then: TeaLuxe, which started as a tea café in Cambridge, MA, in 1996 and launched a Website in 1999, stopped mailing the print catalog in 2003. “When we moved online we started to focus more on café operations in our retail environment,” says corporate director Chris Goodfellow. “Then it just made sense to put the catalog online.”

Today: Web sales account for about 10% of overall revenue. At its peak in 2002, TeaLuxe had eight retail locations; now it has three shops: the original in Cambridge; one in Providence, RI; and one in the Back Bay section of Boston. The company, which moved its corporate headquarters to Franklin, MA, in 2002, recently sold two franchises, which are scheduled to open in Tampa, FL, and Phoenix this year.