Crow's Nest Trading Company

An Analytical Mindset
April 1, 2005

Background: Before starting Crow’s Nest Trading Co. with her husband Doug, Cary Tennis was vice president of sales at a now-defunct home furnishings catalog. Why started a catalog: Lifestyle. “My husband is a hunting and fishing enthusiast, and he’s gotten me involved in a lot of that,” says Tennis. “We fit our own customer demographics. We felt there was a void in the market that we could reach. Plus, we were at a point in our lives, that mid-life thing, when we were either going to keep going to that same high-rise office building every day working for someone else, or we were

What’s Your Merchandising Vision
May 1, 2004

What do companies like L.L. Bean, Coldwater Creek, Lands’ End, J. Jill, Victoria’s Secret, Williams-Sonoma, Ross-Simons, Pottery Barn, The Sharper Image, Cabela’s and Frontgate have in common? They all have a clear merchandise vision, says Chuck Howard, president of Howard Consulting, a Rockville, MD-based catalog consulting firm. “A merchandising vision is simply an understanding of the customer and his or her lifestyle,” he explains. But, according to Howard, it is one of the most difficult topics for catalogers to grasp. Most don’t truly understand the importance of merchandising, he laments. While numbers are the foundation of good merchandise planning, a lot of people

Inventory Projections
January 1, 2003

You discover a terrific product that you know your customers will love. The vendor’s pen hovers over the quantity line on the order form. How much should you buy? Three catalog executives shared with Editor Donna Loyle their insights and methodologies for projecting how much merchandise to stock for each catalog campaign. Ron Zientarski, vice president of purchasing and inventory management, Corporate Express, Grand Rapids, MI Product: business-to-business office supplies and furniture Size of warehouse facilities: The company has 257 office products locations, including 40 distribution centers spanning more than 6 million square feet. SKUs: 70,000, but 7,000 to 25,000 are