Environmental groups Catalog Choice and ForestEthics are hot on catalogers’ tails. So are state governments, with 18 do-not-mail bills under review in 15 states as of the beginning of this year. As if catalogers didn’t have enough adversity — with postage on the rise again and the economy on the fall — they can’t afford to take the issue of environmentalism and sustainability lightly much longer. That’s why we’ve devoted the cover section to this hot topic. Consider the most recent events: • On Oct. 9, 2007, relative newcomer Catalog Choice unveiled its free, Web-based service to encourage consumers to opt out of
Sears, Roebuck & Co.
Dear Editor, RE: “DMA Drops MPS Fee” that ran in February's IndustryEye, the Direct Marketing Association took the right step by eliminating the $1 sign-up fee, but its Mail Preference Service (MPS) still requires a credit card number to ensure authenticity. There are more than 4 million names on the MPS suppression file, but DMA hasn’t done much to promote MPS to consumers and its membership base. More importantly, the DMA hasn’t made it easy for consumers to have their names added to the do-not-mail list. Catalog Choice’s goal — to stop unwanted mail to help clean our environment — is a worthy one.
Going “green” will become increasingly important for multichannel merchants as consumers’ spending habits continue to be influenced by environmental concerns. According to the 2007 Annual National Shopping Behavior Survey by KPMG, a vast majority of holiday shoppers expressed a willingness to pay more for ecofriendly gifts and took note of the countries where items were made. The recent survey of 815 shoppers was conducted randomly by telephone. Here are some highlights of the survey: * 88 percent of respondents said they were very concerned about the environment, with 74 percent saying they buy environmentally friendly products; * 60 percent of those respondents were willing
I must admit I’ve frequently scrutinized those Lands’ End “ghettos” in Sears stores ever since Sears acquired the pride of Dodgeville, Wis., five and a half years ago. For a few years, Sears tried to sprinkle Lands’ End products amidst its mostly forgettable array of private label and largely undesirable polyester clothing. But I’m happy to report Sears is getting closer to getting the Lands’ End integration thing right. And when I received a 12-page mini-booklet — not quite a catalog, per se — I was truly blown away. The 63⁄4-inch x 51⁄8 inch outer cover wraps around eight 63⁄4 inch x 4 3⁄4
People On the Move Neiman Marcus: The multichannel apparel marketer has promoted its retail division president/CEO Karen Katz to executive vice president of the parent company, Neiman Marcus Group. The company has also promoted the Group’s senior vice president and CFO James Skinner to executive vice president and CFO. Sears: The multichannel retailer has hired Louis Ramery as its new senior vice president, customer relationship marketing. Ramery, who’ll have overall responsibilities for developing and executing the Sears Holdings’ relationship marketing strategies and programs, will report to Maureen McGuire, Sears Holdings’ chief marketing officer. He was previously with Digitas, a marketing agency network. J.C. Penney: The multichannel
People On the Move Coldwater Creek: Dennis Pence, who cofounded this multichannel women’s apparel cataloger 23 years ago, retired as CEO on Oct. 30. He’ll retain his role as chairman, however. President/COO Daniel Griesemer was promoted to president/CEO and will serve on the company’s board of directors. Griesemer joined Coldwater Creek six years ago. dELiA*s: The multichannel teen/tween apparel company has named Chris DiChiaro as the divisional merchandise manager of its Alloy division. Prior to joining dELiA*s, DiChiaro spent seven years as the vice president of merch-andising of intimate apparel for Victoria’s Secret Direct. dELiA*s also announced the hiring of Lee Bissonnette as senior director of
According to STORES magazine’s inaugural Favorite 50 survey, conducted by BIGresearch, consumers are drawn most to Web sites that offer a variety of choices. Topping the publication’s rankings for customers’ favorite online retail companies was Amazon.com, whose broad product array connects with consumers. Following Amazon’s site was another site full of possibilities, eBay.com. The rest of the top 10 is below, followed by a list of all catalog companies ranked in the top 50. 3. WalMart.com 4. BestBuy.com 5. JCPenney.com 6. Target.com 7. Kohls.com 8. Overstock.com 9. Google.com 10. Sears.com The following catalogers were also on the list (followed by actual rank): LandsEnd.com (13),
Throughout my years covering this business, I’ve often had to elaborate to friends or family members on just what market I cover — or for that matter, what I do for a living. I’d try to explain and it would take them a little while to understand both what the catalog market is and what I do. “Catalog what? What’s yer catalog?” “No, no. I’m with a magazine that follows the catalog business. Y’know, L.L. Bean or Lands’ End. Or, surely you’ve heard of the old Sears Wish Book?” “Ohhhh! You work for Sears. Nice! Are you in the appliance department?” “Ughhh …” In the past, it wasn’t always
TORONTO — For a good many years, I’ve periodically covered the Canadian catalog/direct/multichannel market — all, of course, from a U.S. perspective. Dating back to the early 1990s, I reported on catalogers’ experiences in expanding into Canada, usually focusing on brand-new efforts. More often than not, the results looked encouraging, the outlook appeared great. Most surveys showed that Canada was the number 1 logical choice for international expansion among catalogers. Yet, here we are in 2007, and finding catalogers that do any sort of truly significant business in Canada is just about as challenging as getting a ticket to a Stanley Cup playoff hockey
In a roundtable discussion held on April 11 during a Hudson Valley DMA luncheon in Greenwich, Conn., Hanover Direct Vice President of Corporate Marketing Amy Schilder led a group on the best practices involved in partnership marketing. Specifically, she pointed out that partnerships with other marketing companies require several key components in order for them to work for both parties. Below are several take-away pointers from the discussion in which she focused primarily on Hanover’s own partnership with Sears, in which Sears offers a line of clothing from Hanover’s Silhouettes catalog. * Make sure both partners’ goals are in line with one another. In the Sears-Silhouettes