Joan Abrams

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.

Tired of reading about what a tough year it’s been for so many businesses across the board? Frustrated with your own results? Scared about the economy? Whether or not you’re struggling as much as others, here’s a little tonic: our annual best-of feature, in which we’ve pulled what we believe to be the 50 best and most implementable tips of the year from Catalog Success magazine as well as our weekly e-newsletter, Tactics & Tips. There’s nothing fancy here. Each paragraph is taken from a particular story that’s referenced, so you can turn or click back to reread the full story or act on

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

By Alicia Orr Suman Whether in its catalog design or ordering procedures, uniform supplier WearGuard strives to mirror the shopping experiences customers have off the job. WearGuard has been in the business of marketing rugged work clothes since the 1950s, when founder Gene Salem started selling personalized work shirts and pants out of a converted milk truck. For Salem and his customers — gas station owners — it was more than a business-to-business (b-to-b) relationship: It was about people selling to people. The company has grown and changed during the years, but one thing has remained constant: Whether the customer

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