Profile: All in the Family
CURRENT CHALLENGE: To increase the self-sustaining business generated by the Web site. “We’ve entered into new relationships to expand pay-per-click revenue,” he says. “New data feeds are improving sales results in shopping search engines. We’ve begun targeted e-mail marketing and have taken a more hands-on approach with our affiliate program.”
BIGGEST MISTAKE AND SUBSEQUENT RECOVERY: When catalog sales started to decline about three years ago, “We reacted late because we blamed external factors,” he says. “In truth, the catalog had become dated and stale.” They recovered by rebranding. The result: “a fresh, newly designed catalog and a new companion Web site that wound up winning a Webby award. Our customers responded quite favorably to the change. The catalog took on more structure; the product groups were more thematically oriented or departmentalized. So there was a more logical feel as one went through the book.”
ON KEEPING FUN IN THE WORKPLACE: “We have a basketball hoop and ping-pong table,” he says, “but they get surprising little use. Most of the staff has been here for years, and we’re a close group, so there are a lot of potlucks and birthday celebrations.”
Company founded: 1938
Catalog established: 1984
Headquarters: San Francisco
Primary merchandise: arts and crafts supplies; gifts and design products
# of SKUs: 600, catalog; 3,000, Web site.
Customer demographics: 82 percent female; 38 to 61 years of age; 58 percent have income greater than $75,000; 79 percent are married
# of employees: 70
For the complete interview, look under Related Items!