For example, for our special holiday card catalog, we order a special super white grade in from Germany because color is so critical. We buy the paper we need to get the color we want.
Scott Hansen, director of print production, Nordstrom.com catalog
Product: Apparel, shoes, jewelry and gifts
Circulation: Nordstrom.com does not disclose this data. However, this Nordstrom division buys 11,000 tons of coated groundwood and free sheet body paper, and 1,000 tons of free sheet cover paper per year.
CS: What type of paper are you using right now? Why do you use it?
Hansen: Most of our paper is 40-lb, #4 free sheet and groundwood. Our covers are 70-lb, #3 free sheet.
Some of the sales catalogs have a 50-lb, #4 cover, and a 36-lb, #4 body. All of our paper is from International Paper.
We carefully selected it for shade, gloss, brightness, smoothness and print reproduction. The paper we use helps with our brand image and reproduces the photography and merchandise with the highest possible quality.
CS: How often do you mail?
Hansen: Every few weeks.
CS: Have you used other types of paper before? If so, why didn’t they work out?
Hansen: We put our paper program out to bid every other year. Last year, we tested about 10 different sheets before deciding to go with International Paper so there would be no disappointments going forward.
CS: Will you change your paper type to counteract the postage increase?
Hansen: Not right now. Our paper pricing has gotten a lot lower and has softened the blow of the recent increase. But the mill we selected offers the option of going to lighter basis weights, so if we need to, we can.
CS: How big a part does paper play in your budget considerations?