Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at

Anyone with at least a decade of experience in B-to-B retail — listen up millennials — will tell you that e-commerce doesn't qualify as a new trend. It was the next big thing back when new episodes of "Seinfeld" regularly aired on NBC, when people used AOL, and even when NSYNC was on tour. So for me to say e-commerce is changing the face of business feels a lot like a Twitter feed riddled with Kim Kardashian's name — a little exhausted.

This month, we begin a new column devoted to introducing you to your colleagues in cataloging. Enjoy! Who did not love J. Peterman’s catalogs—dubbed “Owner’s Manuals”—and his wonderfully wafty copy that turned every SKU into an award-winning short story? But in the late 1990s, Peterman lived every cataloger’s worst nightmare: investors squeezing him to grow and be profitable, forcing him to spend his time chasing capital rather than chasing great product and making deals. In the end, he tried to open 70 retail stores, succeeded in opening 10, but then went bust, turning over the detritus of a magnificent dream to a

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