Spring Garden

When I picked up this catalog, I was immediately impressed by the clean and consistent design. It has structure without seeming stuffy, and features tons of information that’s easy to read and understand. Oh, and did I mention the gorgeous, rich products? Yes, this is a good catalog — handsome and well put together. It’s instructional without being cold. It’s full of information and products, without real clutter. I concluded rather quickly that this fine catalog could be used in design schools as an example of a hard-working catalog that doesn’t lose its beauty. Positives, Improvements Of course, there’s always room for improvement. Starting with the cover:

On Dell’s Service Woes Dear Editor, We read your editorial in the November issue and acknowledge that some of our customers, like you, haven’t received a positive experience when dealing with our customer service group. We’re making a sincere effort to address these concerns, as well as making a significant investment in our customer service organization to ensure that we consistently provide an excellent experience. In fact, this year alone, we have invested $150 million toward retraining our customer care and technical support teams, establishing additional vehicles for our customers to interact with us, and many more initiatives that are significantly

Florentine Craftsmen Inc. catalog’s greatest strength is its extraordinary merchandise. Every piece in the book looks like it could have graced one of the Newport mansions or been seen in some Hollywood movie with Greta Garbo whispering into Clark Gable’s ear. Words such as elegant, classic, timeless, artisan, gilded-age, wealthy and beautiful best describe the book’s goods. I can’t say the same about the current catalog, however, as it doesn’t live up to the standard of the merchandise it sells. The catalog has the classic look of a B-to-B company that’s been selling the same merchandise for years, but hasn’t allocated enough time, attention or

COMPANY NAME TOTAL BUYERS 12-MONTH BUYERS BASE PRICE/M Abercrombie & Fitch 29,977 12,367 $125 Acorn Direct 3,290 3,136 $135 Bass Pro Shops 8,074 4,495 $90 Brookstone 7,931 6,210 $110 Casual Living 448,385 448,385 $114 Coldwater Creek 60,432 24,773 $130 Eddie Bauer 25,648 8,948 Exch. Only Edwin Watts Golf Shops 2,024 2,024 $125 Hammacher Schlemmer 47,945 11,922 $135 Metropolitan Museum of Art 17,125 17,125 $175 National Wildlife 3,842 3,842 $125

AUGUST Aug. - List Vision 2006. New York. (212) 790-1500, www.the-dma.org/events Aug. - Directo Days West. California. (212) 790-1500, www.the-dma.org/events Aug. - Catalog-on-the-Road Midwest Conference. (212) 790-1500, www.the-dma.org/events Aug. 7-10 - eTail 2006. The Downtown Marriott, Philadelphia. (888) 482-6012, www. wbresearch.com/etail/. Aug. 9 - Effective Internet Marketing in a Dynamic and Competitive Environment. Marriott Hartford, Farmington, Conn. (866) 388-8377, www.timberlineinteractive.com. Aug. 9-10 - Database Marketing. Doubletree Downtown Boston, Boston. (212) 790-1500, www.the-dma.org/events Aug. 15-16 - Profitable Customer Retention and WinBack Workshop. Allerton Crowne Plaza, Chicago. (212) 790-1500, www.the-dma.org/events Aug.

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