Scott Shrake

At a dinner party, a chef must blend flavors and textures masterfully to create something that a group of diverse people will enjoy. Likewise, the Haute@Home catalog mixes different selling propositions to form a cohesive shopping experience for everyone from novice entertainers who can only boil water, to seasoned cooking and restaurant professionals. Florencia Palmaz, creator and president of Haute@Home, exemplifies the busy entertainer who wants casual elegance delivered quickly to the table. Her mother and business partner, Amalia Palmaz, comes from a more formal entertaining tradition in which the hostess prepares everything from scratch. Both women, who hail from Argentina, are experts on

By Scott Shrake The name "Godiva" denotes first the mythical nude Lady, and second, a brand of luxury confections. To some, the order of association may even be reversed: The brand is that strong. Founded in Brussels, Belgium, by Joseph Draps in 1926, Godiva Chocolatier introduced its chocolates to Americans 40 years later. Godiva, now with world headquarters in New York City, has been credited with single-handedly creating the U.S. market for "super-premium chocolates." It now markets in three channels: retail, catalog and Web. Just like print, online catalogs are always evolving, taking advantage of new technology and fresh realizations about the character of

It is happening more often—an interesting reverse trend. New e-commerce companies recognizing the need to create greater awareness are producing print catalogs to help accomplish that task. Flush with Internet success, the exciting reality of creating a Web site and actually attracting visitors from everywhere who browse and buy spurs these companies to create new categories of catalogs. The Naissance maternity catalog is typical of this phenomenon. Naissance began operations two years ago as a retail maternity shop in a prestigious mall in suburban Los Angeles. The Internet site,, was developed soon afterwards. While the retail shop new business from as

Greening With Five P's A famous Muppet sang, "It's not easy being green," but two major catalogers are singing a different tune, offering proof that kindness to the earth can be good business. The Direct Marketing Association and the U.S. Conference of Mayors recognized Patagonia of Ventura, CA, and Norm Thompson Outfitters (NTO) of Portland, OR, for their environmental efforts with Robert Rodale Awards. Patagonia was named Recycler of the Year and NTO Environmental Mailer of the Year. The companies have achieved high levels of earth-friendliness through changes in "five P's": product, packaging, printing, postal and power.

Media Relations and Your Catalog Every business wants and needs to create awareness of what it does. Catalogers are no different. They can advertise, whether it's a big splashy campaign of the sort Lands' End, L.L. Bean or Lillian Vernon have undertaken, or simply a small classified ad. But another way to get people thinking and talking about—and hopefully ordering from!—your catalog is the "free advertising" generated by effective use of public relations (PR). The "public" in PR encompasses media, government and community relations. Let's focus for now on the media. Is there a

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