A Chat With May's Profile, John Doheny, CEO, Doheny's Water Warehouse
Catalog Success: Where's your company headquartered?
John Doheny: Kenosha, Wisconsin.
CS: When was the company established?
JD: My parents started it as a wholesale pool supply business out of their garage in 1967.
CS: When did the company begin mailing catalogs?
JD: Our first catalog mailed in the spring of 1980.
CS: What are your catalog's customer demographics?
JD: In-ground and above-ground pool owners and commercial pool operators.
CS: What's the primary merchandise you sell?
JD: Swimming pool supplies.
CS: How many SKUs do you offer? On average, how many SKUs are offered in the catalog?
JD: Over 4,000 total, with approximately 1,500 in any active catalog.
CS: How many employees work at the company?
JD: Forty-eight full-time, plus an additional 90-110 seasonal hires.
CS: How many times per year do you mail the catalog?
CS: What's the catalog's annual circulation?
JD: Over 13 million.
CS: What's the company's annual sales?
JD: $40 million to $50 million.
CS: Do you have retail stores?
JD: We have one retail outlet at our headquarters in Kenosha.
CS: How do sales breakdown by channel?
JD: Eighty-five percent of our sales are to residential customers, B-to-C, and the other 15 percent are commercial/wholesale customers, B-to-B.
CS: How did you get started in the catalog/multichannel business?
JD: The company started as a wholesale distributor of pool supplies in the Midwest market. In 1979, my dad came across a list of swimming pool homeowners and the idea of delivering pool supplies directly to homeowners’ doors via a catalog was hatched.
My parents gambled everything they had and mailed out our first catalog in 1980. I purchased the business from my parents 12 years ago. At that time, we did just under $10 million a year in sales.