There’s a Place in Retail for Print Catalogs
It’s amazing what a difference a few years can make.
In 2007, a RetailWire poll found only 14 percent of respondents believed that printed catalogs would become "largely obsolete" as a result of electronic alternatives.
By 2011, another RetailWire poll found 44 percent believed that tablet devices would "mean the end of printed catalogs for all intents and purposes."
So, what does the future hold for catalogs?
According to Direct Marketing Association figures, quoted in a CNBC report, nearly 90 million Americans bought an item from a catalog last year.
J.Crew, which mails around 40 million catalogs a year, sees its printed communications as complementary to what it is doing online.
"Most of our business goes from catalog to online," J.Crew CEO Mickey Drexler told CNBC. I’m always looking at the turn-on item or category or outfit that will drive them to want to shop at J.Crew instead of the millions of choices out there."
Express, IKEA, New York and Co., Restoration Hardware, Territory Ahead and Urban Outfitters are just a few of the other retailers that continue to make use of printed catalogs.
- Catalog Deliveries Made Via iPad – RetailWire
- Catalogs Take Place in Multi-Channel Strategy – RetailWire
- Why retail catalogs survive, even thrive, in Internet Age – CNBC/USA Today
Discussion Questions: What do you see as the role of printed catalogs in retail today? What does the future hold for printed catalogs?