Cataloger Spotlight: Great American Hanger’s New B-to-C Catalog Primed to Hang Around
Looking to grow its brand and leverage its successful B-to-B catalog business, The Great American Hanger Co. last year launched a B-to-C catalog. Though considered a gamble at first, the Miami-based cataloger of specialty clothing hangers has reaped rewards from the book. A year into the new business, the consumer catalog already accounts for 27 percent of the company’s total sales.
A Head Start
Although the nine-year-old marketer had only sold hangers to such industries as retail stores, hotels, cruise ships and closet manufacturers until recently, it did have a head start in the consumer arena. High-profile customers such as Jennifer Lopez and Jerry Seinfeld have placed orders both online and through Great American Hanger’s catalog call center; now they order through the B-to-C book.
He won’t reveal specific sales figures, but Christian Raphael, vice president of the catalog division, says the B-to-C unit was well ahead of projections for 2007. While not official at press time, overall sales likely topped $10 million for 2007.
With the new catalog, Great American Hanger attacked the consumer market aggressively, mailing seven editions last year with a total B-to-C circulation of more than 1 million. This year’s plan calls for 11 consumer catalog mailings and circulation twice that of 2007’s. In 2007, consumers received catalogs from the company, on average, every 52 days. According to Raphael, that gap will drop to slightly more than a month this year.
“The strong results reflect a couple of things, a significant increase in circulation as well as circulated pages,” Raphael says. “In addition, we’ve made a very significant commitment to database marketing. We intend to grow organically.”
Keys to Success
The existing B-to-B catalog’s success helped jump-start the B-to-C book. “We were able to pick and choose products from inventory we felt would appeal to consumers,” Raphael says. “We had a selling history to use, in terms of what we were going to put in the book.” The company also sought the advice of seasoned in-house and contracted industry professionals. Raphael credits this group not only for identifying prospect universes to mail, but also for printing, binding and mailing a very professional-grade catalog the first time out.