A Chat With April’s Profile, Tim Burns, brand manager of Edmund Scientific
Catalog Success: Where’s the company headquartered?
Tim Burns: Tonawanda, New York.
CS: What’s the catalog’s demographic?
TB: We’re about two-thirds male, 35 to 55 [years of age] and they’re typically a professional. So a teacher, engineer, lawyer, doctor. We index really high in terms of those professions. So that’s pretty much what it looks like.
CS: What year was the first Edmund Scientific catalog published?
TB: The company was founded in 1942 and the first catalog was mailed in 1948.
CS: What’s the primary merchandise offered in the catalog?
TB: Science-related products, gifts and toys. So innovative, educational and science-themed.
CS: On average, how many SKUs are offered in the catalog?
TB: We have about 2,000 SKUs, 1,500 of which are in the catalog. [All of the products are offered on the company’s Web site.]
CS: How many catalog mailings per year? How many the company had in ’07 and what’s projected for this year?
TB: We do eight a year; and that’ll be the plan again this year.
CS: What’s the catalog’s circulation?
TB: About three million catalogs a year.
CS: What’s the number of employees at Edmund Scientific?
TB: That’s a tough one for me to answer. There’s a lot of shared resources and everything in the building [at VWR, the parent company of Edmund Scientific]. If I had to guess, and if we stood out on our own, which we don’t, it would be about 30 people.
CS: Can you cover your personal background. How long have you been at Edmund Scientific? How did you get your start in the catalog business?
TB: I’ve been with VWR the past 10 years. And I started with Science Kit, which is actually the parent company of Edmund Scientific. Science Kit is really everything a science teacher uses in the classroom — from chemicals to frogs to microscopes. I started with them 10 years ago in their bid sales group and then left for a brief period of time to do the dot-com thing, and then came back in 2004 to manage the Edmund Scientific business. I’ve been doing that for the last four years.