Monty Python

During the holiday ’06 season, more than one assessment in the consumer press about the healthy state of the print catalog made reference to Mark Twain’s legendary reaction to seeing his own obituary in 1897, “The reports of my demise were greatly exaggerated.” As a metaphor for the print catalog, it’s a pretty accurate quote. Nearly a decade since e-commerce Web sites were first tooled to process orders, it’s safe to say that the role of the print catalog has largely been recast. And unlike what so many free-speaking soothsayers were forecasting in the late ’90s, Web sites didn’t replace catalogs after all. (A somewhat

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