In the September (print) issue of Catalog Success, I discussed the opportunity catalogers and multichannel merchants have to aggressively pursue the older end of baby boomers, some of whom are now in their 60s. In Portland, Maine, on Sept. 20 for the fall NEMOA Conference, I was taken by the opening presentation given by Claire Spofford, senior vice president and chief brand officer for the Orchard Brands unit of Golden Gate Capital, (formerly Appleseed’sTopCo).
Having joined Appleseed’s earlier this decade to bring a retail and brand accent to the mature women’s apparel cataloger, Spofford now presides over a thriving multititle multichannel business that’s as in tune with aging baby boomers as I’ve witnessed. There’s much for all readers to learn about the “five factors of fitness” that Spofford discussed in her session, which focus on understanding the Appleseed’s and The Tog Shop multichannel customer.
First, a quick recap of how Appleseed’s ownership changed hands. Golden Gate Capital, which also owns Spiegel Brands and other catalogers, bought Appleseed’s in November 2005, shortly after Appleseed’s had launched an internal program to focus on better understanding and serving its customers. Appleseed’s also was considering launching a new catalog prior to the Golden Gate deal to extend its reach to the 50 to 75 market.
But as it turned out, The Tog Shop, which reaches this older market, became available and Appleseed’s bought it, re-launching it later that year right around the time Golden Gate acquired them both. Now, they’re both by Orchard Brands. Other Orchard Brands titles catalog include Norm Thompson, Solutions, Sahalie, Gold Violin, Wintersilks and Haband.
In her session, Spofford focused on her efforts with Appleseed’s and The Tog Shop. Her “five factors” provide a neat capsule of how the company has been able to fully understand its customers and market to them.