A Chat with June’s Profile, David Lorsch, founder, president and CEO, DBL Distributing Inc.
© Profile of Success, Catalog Success magazine, April 2007
Interview by Gail Kalinoski
Catalog Success: When was the catalog established?
David Lorsch: The company and the catalog were formed concurrently in 1989 with my fiancé and now wife, Cindy. Our first catalog order was Sept. 29, 1989. The order came from a dealer in Clovis, New Mexico.
CS: How did the company get started?
David: I was out of work. I had been working in national sales for a video accessory manufacturer. When I started thinking about what I could do, I realized there was a gap in the electronics accessory distribution market. There were a few people in the eastern U.S. that were growing the market via catalog and flier. But there was nobody in the West. Around the point I started my company, there was no distributor specializing in accessories to independent retailers west of St. Louis. I identified what I perceived to be a hole in the market. And luckily, I was right.
CS: How did you grow the company?
Lorsch: We’d originally taken a mailing list of audio retailers and video retailers. The third list was taken in a recovery campaign from some local photo dealers. So we added photo and camcorder accessories to the catalog. We aimed at selling one to three-store operations. We started mailing the catalog into 13 western states. Over the next, let’s call it four years, we slowly moved east, taking down three or four states at a time. I was national by 1994. It was always very interesting that as we took new states, the catalog was always where we got good response. As a wholesale cataloger, we’re dealing with repetitive business. Our catalog response against our mailing list is 40 percent.
CS: What is your primary merchandise?
Lorsch:Consumer electronics is the catchall category. We’re into digital cameras and camcorders, GPS, two-way mobile radios, telephones and audio. We’re also reverting back to our roots in accessories. I can make the dealer a profit with attachment selling.