Digital Catalogs Continue to Grow in Popularity

NEW YORK CITY, April 28, 2009 — The number of print catalogs with online editions continued to grow from 8,675 to 8,894 over the last year (2008-2009), according to the 2009 National Directory of Catalogs ( released today. Catalogs available in online-only formats totaled 2,011, up from 1,868 last year, while catalogs available in print-only formats decreased from 1,574 to 1,347 in the same period.

“Niche areas of the catalog business that cater to the increased interest in entertaining at home are thriving, such as baking—with titles such as Divine® Delights, and Fairytale Brownies®─ and its companion categories of confectionery and produce,” said Trish Hagood, president of Oxbridge Communications®, Inc., publisher of the National Directory of Catalogs. “Online catalogs are also continuing to grow, accounting for 10,905 (including 8,894 that are available in print and online format and 2,011 online only) of the 12,524 catalogs listed in our new directory, but print catalogs are still seen as vital, with 10,241 of the total (8,894 that are available in print and online format and 1,347 print only).”

Over the last five years (2004-2009) Baking catalogs jumped 353%, from 16 to 68, Produce catalogs grew 183%, from 29 to 82, and Confectionery catalogs grew 138%, from 74 to 176. At the same time, Manufacturing catalogs showed the steepest decline, a 43% drop, from 469 to 268, with Computer catalogs down 33%, from 313 to 209. During that same period, Book catalogs continued to top the list, with 1,156 in 2009, up from 1,071 in 2004. The other largest catalog categories are Apparel and Accessories, numbering 819 catalogs, up from 711, and Automotive, with 593 catalogs, up from 389 in 2004.

In addition to Books, Apparel, and Automotive, the other most popular catalog categories are Education (528), Gardening & Horticulture (422) and Gifts & Greeting Cards (358), according to the 2009 National Directory of Catalogs.

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