Charis Gaines

Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail. Joe has more than 10 years experience covering the retail industry, and enjoys profiling innovative companies and people in the space.

While deterrents to mailing catalogs continue to mount (rising postage and paper costs, threats of do-not-mail legislation, environmental backlash, the Web’s rising popularity, etc.), the benefits of this marketing medium seem to have gotten lost in the shuffle. So it’s fair to ask the question: Are catalogs worth it anymore? We randomly surveyed a cross-section of multichannel merchants and found the following facts illustrating the catalog medium’s continued importance in most marketing budgets. • Shiffler, a B-to-B cataloger of school and facility furniture, supplies and equipment, this year launched its second catalog title, Facility Hardware. More than 90 percent of its revenue comes

Catalogers develop three-year plans for at least three reasons: to map out growth and customer acquisition plans; to develop financial goals; and because their bosses, investors or company-owning banks want to see such data. The theme of a session during the recent ACCM conference, held May19-22 in Kissimmee, Fla., on three-year planning centered primarily around speaker Charis Gaines, director, marketing planning and analysis for car parts cataloger Eckler Industries, who led the session along with consultant Gina Valentino of Hemisphere Marketing. Gaines shared her three-year planning process at Eckler, which focuses on putting customer data to work when putting such plans together. Specifically, it

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