Profile of Success: Ed Bjorncrantz, A Dedicated Catalog Veteran
Through countless catalog experiences, Ed Bjorncrantz’s passion for growth and the catalog business never has ebbed.
How he got involved in cataloging: After attending Colgate University, C. Eduard Bjorncrantz was hired to run the catalog sales office for the Arlington, Va., Sears store. He later left the post to get his MBA at the University of Virginia, after which he went back to work for Sears in its Chicago offices in a product management program.
Among other assignments, Bjorncrantz was appointed assistant catalog marketing manager for bedspreads and draperies — then the largest catalog division in the company. Following assignments in retail marketing and human resources, he took a position as group catalog marketing manager for four departments.
Biggest challenge at Sears: In the late 1980s, Sears made the decision to split off the catalog business from the retail business; it would eventually get out of the catalog business altogether. Being a true believer in the synergies of multichannel integration, Bjorncrantz disagreed with the direction the company was taking and left Sears to take a position with Janesville, Wis.-based B-to-B cataloger, Lab Safety Supply.
Career highlights: In addition to Sears and Lab Safety Supply, Bjorncrantz has spent time as an executive at Moore Medical Corp., Quill Corp., J.C. Whitney and now, Day-Timers. At Sears, he pioneered the selling of catalogs in Sears stores, which generated $15 million in sales annually. At auto parts cataloger J.C. Whitney, he built a Web site from scratch in 1997 to $50 million in online sales in 2001.
What about cataloging appeals to Bjorncrantz?
• Identifying growth opportunities: “I like developing plans for growth, rather than just tweaking the dials of a well-oiled machine,” Bjorncrantz says. “The process of identifying how to grow the business, finding the resources to fund growth and effecting the change management within the organization to make it possible is exciting.”