Spiegel Takes Fashion Forward
Spiegel’s merchandisers focused a lot on finding the right balance in the company’s product lines: a balance of daily needs vs. aspiration. As Payner explains it, Spiegel learned that, to entice people to buy, the clothing and home furnishings have to be stylish and a little trendy, but not “over the top.”
Creative: A Fresh New Look in the Mail
Once Spiegel had the right product mix, its next challenge was to showcase the merchandise in a way that would convey its new brand image—and motivate purchases. For the Spring 2002 catalog, “We will bring the product to the forefront to show the fabric and thus relate the quality of the product offering,” says Payner, noting that this strategy is being applied to both apparel and home furnishings.
In addition, Payner says, the layout of the book will change so that the entire catalog reads with one voice and an elevated taste level. One illustration of the new focus: The graphics in the Big Book will be very much the same for home and fashion. And the home section will be divided into two main style preferences—Country Chic and Soft Urban. Payner says, “Everything we do has a consistent, expressive style point of view—from product to presentation.”
Spiegel mails three major books a year—spring, fall and Holiday—and 83 different catalogs were mailed in 2000, including a variety of seasonal and specialty catalogs, among them: Onview, Kid’s Resource and Spiegel Life, a recent addition geared toward the younger customer, average age 32.
Catalog copy is written in-house. Art direction also is done in-house, but Spiegel does use freelance fashion photographers.
On the production end, Payner says the company has taken small steps into the digital world by using digital photography for some of its product shots, mainly of items such as vacuum cleaners, TVs and stereos. “But,” she explains, “we don’t use it for our fashion shots, because we don’t get enough depth to really show the color and texture of our apparel and home fashions.”