Editor’s Take: A Take on Acquisitions of All Kinds
My personal take is this: There’s no point in pining for the bygone “glory days” of the list business. All those nice, entrepreneurial companies whose brokers would call you up just to schmooze and give you the latest gossip on what used to be a cozy little industry — they’re not coming back.
Sure, it’s very sad. But it’s all part of the vicious cycle of business life in this country. I hate to sound callous, but even though the jury will be out for a while on whether infoUSA is doing this industry any good or not, this kind of megaconsolidation is going on all over. If infoUSA didn’t gobble up all these list firms, somebody else eventually would.
Another reality check is in store here: The catalog list business isn’t what it used to be. B-to-C catalogers have become very reliant on the co-op databases, and a growing number of B-to-B marketers are following suit. That means catalogers are changing the list business just as much as infoUSA. I’m not blaming anybody here, that’s just the way the business has evolved. Consolidation is never-ending, and there’ll certainly be more to follow.
Del Franco, Siviter Join Catalog Success
On a final note, I’m thrilled to welcome veteran catalog/multichannel editor/reporter Mark Del Franco as our new Valuations & Acquisitions columnist. As many readers will recall, Mark and I worked closely together for nearly seven years at the former Catalog Age magazine.
Over time, Mark became our go-to guy on catalog matters related to the Street and the whole M&A area. Check out his first column in this issue. Mark will write other Valuations & Acquisitions columns periodically throughout 2008 and beyond.
I’m also excited to welcome our new Understanding Postal columnist, Kathy J. Siviter. I’ve known Kathy since the ’90s when she did yeoman’s work as vice president of the Association for Postal Commerce (PostCom). Having gotten her training first at the USPS, Kathy later branched off and established her own consulting firm in 2000.