Industry Eye: Catalogers’ Updates & People on the Move
October 1, 2006

Catalogers’ Updates Acquisitions • ARAMARK, parent company of safety equipment and apparel catalog Galls, was acquired in August by an investor group led by ARAMARK CEO Joseph Neubauer. The deal, valued at $8.3 billion, is expected to close in late 2006 or early 2007. • Multititle cataloger Swiss Colony in August acquired Ashro Lifestyles, an apparel and accessories catalog catering to African American women. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. • Multititle cataloger Spiegel Brands acquired in September Carabella Corp., parent company of swimsuit and evening wear catalogs Carabella and A.B. Lambdin. The acquisition adds the two brands to the growing number of catalog titles owned by

Technology Focus Part 3 Improve Your Site's Searchability
July 1, 2006

When evaluating future technology acquisitions, make services-oriented architecture a key selection criteria. A new breed of software application has emerged over the last few years that has changed the dynamics of online product search within multichannel marketers' Web sites. Advanced search engines are becoming "must haves" on catalogers' lists of next-generation e-commerce features. Advanced search technologies differ from traditional, structured search approaches that rely on simple keywords and description indexes. Today's better Web sites allow for searches that automatically categorize results sets by navigable counts of relevant subsets of data. For example, a customer's search for "denim" may

The Convergence Question
April 1, 2006

By Bill Spaide Need a seamless interface from e-commerce through order management to physical fulfillment? Here's how to get it. Online retail sales continue their year-over-year surge. Web consumers' expectations for the range of services and ease of online shopping also are increasing. As a result, Web and fulfillment technology solutions available to direct commerce marketers have undergone several changes during the last few years. What's been happening, why, and how can you take advantage of these noted trends to improve your multichannel sales and customer service efforts? In this article, I'll look at how converged software solutions

Serenity now! Nine tips to help improve your Outbound Parcel Shipping
August 1, 2004

By Donna Loyle Shipping and handling (S&H) complaints usually rank pretty high on the list of gripes customers have against merchants. At the same time, consumers rate parcel delivery companies as some of the best in customer service*. Is there a disconnect in the consumer's mind, or is there more to this dichotomy than meets the eye? Catalog Success asked Jeff Kline, a veteran of catalog fulfillment, to share his advice on how you can increase the efficiency and reduce the cost of your outbound parcel shipping services — while at the same time maintaining or even improving your customer service objectives. Kline

Paper: What Top Catalogers are Using and Why
August 1, 2002

Postage, printing, presentation: There’s a lot to consider when choosing a paper type for your catalog. Catalog Success asked some leading catalogers how they decide which type of paper to use, and how they think it impacts their sales. Michele Rick, director of customer acquisition, Crutchfield catalog Product: Consumer electronics Circulation: About 35 million catalogs mailed per year Catalog Success: What type of paper are you using now? Rick: We have two types of books. Our big book has a 144-page body with a four-page cover that prints on gravure. That uses a totally different paper than the supplements, which have a 48-page body

From the East Bloc and Beyond
July 1, 2001

To say Sovietski Collection catalog has a unique niche would be an understatement. Indeed, a quick flip through its pages is like taking a whirlwind trip around the former East Bloc. Its product selection includes militaria, such as Soviet MiG pilot helmets and copper diving helmets, Russian submarine clocks, East German tank commander binoculars and field phones. There’s also hand-crafted Polish sabers and Czech walking sticks, Lomonosov porcelain tableware, Romanian crystal goblets and Russian-made woolen shawls. The catalog even features a genuine Soviet “Strizh” spacesuit complete with communications helmet and umbilical life-support interfaces. Sovietski sells merchandise and artifacts sourced primarily from Europe

Nordstrom: Following, Bending & Breaking the Rules
June 1, 2001

In the early 1990s I gave a talk to the Minneapolis Direct Marketing Club. On the way to the airport, my old and dear friend Kathy detoured to let me prowl the vaunted Mall of America, that gloriously glitzy testament to the shop-’til-you-drop mentality: the largest indoor mall in the world, complete with an amusement park in the center. As we passed the jewelry department of Nordstrom, I spied a ring in the window that seemed right for my wife, Peggy. We went inside and were greeted by a sales clerk named Janice, who sold me the ring. Later that day I presented

Digital Photography in Action (1,105 words)
December 1, 2000

By Judie Eakins The technology has arrived to bring improved quality and greater efficiency, and catalogers are taking advantage Now in its fourth generation, digital photography has "arrived." And major retailers and catalogers, including Nordstrom, True Value, The Container Store and Eddie Bauer, have adopted it almost fully—for both traditional print and Web purposes. A few years ago, many in the industry—direct marketers, printers and photographers themselves—perceived digital photography as incapable of producing photos of superior quality. Beyond the subjective issues were very real limitations: Equipment was awkward and difficult to use, and the technology lent itself almost exclusively to static