Profile of Success: A Cataloger Who Sticks Taffy Pulls a Profit
Key to success: A story. No doubt, the nostalgia of buying taffy at the seashore has driven James’ and Fralinger’s success. “You have to have a story,” Glaser points out, “and ours is more than 100 years old. That helps an awful lot.”
To tell the company’s story, each package of taffy or candy is styled exactly as it was in the early 1900s, with vintage art and text.
What about the business appeals to Glaser? The limitless potential of catalog prospecting. “In the retail market, you’ve got to wait for someone to walk by your front door,” he laments. “But in the catalog business, you can bring your front door to the customer and hopefully you have something in common.” The catalog also allows Glaser to drive business during the end-of-year holiday season, which traditionally is a weak time of year for his beachside retail stores.
About James’ and Fralinger’s Saltwater Taffy
Company founded: 1880s
Catalog established: 1999
Headquarters: Atlantic City, N.J.
Primary merchandise: salt water taffy, fudge, macaroons and chocolates
# of SKUs: 120
Customer demographics: current or former east coast dwellers, ages 40 to 60
Sales channels: retail 80 percent; direct (including catalog and Internet) 15 percent; wholesale 5 percent
# of employees: 220 in summer, 100 in off-season
# of stores: 13