When JCPenney killed off its traditional Big Book catalog last year, the result was a drop in sales on its website, says the retailer’s chairman. Based on that successful strategy–wait, what?–JCPenney says it’s killing off its remaining 12 specialty catalogs as well. Instead, it will start mailing out thinner “look books,” which will contain a subset of merchandise and no prices. [More]
Tor has a simple request. He wants companies to stop wasting paper and sending him printed catalogs. He would also appreciate it if companies would stop selling his name ad address to each other in order to send him even more catalogs. This is a tall order–well, at least it is for Crate & Barrel. [More]
With sales down and consumer interest flagging, Abercrombie & Fitch has decided it’s time to bring back its provocative catalog. The return of A&F Quarterly, which will go on sale July 17 for $10, is a blatant grab for the attention of America’s recession-wracked teen spenders. Will it succeed? [More]
It turns out Hammacher Schlemmer doesn’t want their goofy products any more than you do. Tanya in Canada has been trying for a month to get a refund on a product she felt didn’t live up to its promise, but the company won’t even acknowledge whether they’ve received it. Update: Hammacher Schlemmer has responded, and issued the refund. [More]
American Airlines is beginning to experiment with turning flights into shopping opportunities, reports the New York Times. We’re not just talking about in-flight purchases of Sky Mall schwag, either: the paper reports that limousine services, tickets to theme parks and Broadway shows, and train tickets are some of the offerings being considered or currently being tested.
“Consumers Urged to Stop Use of Flammable Wearing Apparel,” says the warning on the Consumer Product Safety Commission Web site. You would think so, wouldn’t you? But Blair, the catalog where your grandmother probably gets all of her clothes, has expanded their recall of chenille sleepwear after nine deaths and another reported chenille fire.
Take a gander at page 24 of this vintage FOH catalog from 1964, scanned and uploaded by Flickr user “What Makes The Pie Shops Tick?”. Their 2-for-$17.99 deal is actually more expensive than buying the items individually. It’s good to know retailers are consistent, we guess.
A dozen readers (and probably a couple of PR flacks) must have forwarded us J.Crew’s email today, in which the CEO and president of the company extend a mutual apology for the non-workingness of their “enhanced” website and call center. Oddly, the email simply asks customers to “bear with us” but doesn’t offer any discount or sale. Well, maybe they figured driving more traffic to a broken site would only make things worse.
Reader j. sent us the above scan of a page from an L.L. Bean catalog. j. says:
Kimberly, a frequent J.Crew online customer, placed an order on June 30th for five items from their newly revamped website. In the past, writes Kim, “it usually takes 2 days at the latest for me to receive any shipment that is not backordered.” This time it’s been 2 weeks, and not only has nothing arrived, but the UPS tracking number they’ve assigned her order is invalid (it doesn’t even follow the UPS numbering style). The unhelpful J.Crew customer service rep told Kim that they had her correct address and to wait 10 days before calling back. In the meantime, one of the items has already been returned and refunded to Kim’s credit card—although about $200 worth of merchandise has still been shipped to some as yet undiscovered location.
Dell, for the love of God, stop sending me catalogs! They are annoying and unwanted, not to mention, useless. If I want to buy something from you, I’ll go online. I’ve filled out your online forms asking you to stop. I’ve asked over the phone. Three different Dell executives have been in email contact with me pledging that they would investigate the mystery of why Dell is addicted to sending me catalogs. I’ve burnt them. I’ve recycled them. They continue to arrive. In my previous post on this, someone mentioned they got Dell to stop after filing a BBB complaint. Here’s where you go to make one online. I just filed one, my first ever BBB complaint (Dell, see what you made me do?). It took less than 5 minutes.
Despite my repeated requests via online form and phone, and even a few posts about it, including one where I made a photo spread of burning the offending items, Dell keeps sending me catalogs. So here is another post for the online pillory, but, in celebration of Earth Day, instead of burning these catalogs, I have recycled them (see above). Their inability/indifference is all the more stupid because two different Dell execs contacted me to say they would look into the issue. They even had me email them the cryptograms on my address label to help remove me from their mailing system. Dell, please, help me save the planet and take me off your stupid catalog lists. Otherwise I guess I’ll just have to deem your material “pornographic” (hey, I know it when I see it, right?) and use USPS form 1500 to get you stop. When you decided to get people to lust after your XPS line, that probably isn’t what you had in mind.
When Sears chairman, Eddie Lampert, took over Kmart, he was determined to revive the long dead “blue light special.” Excited about bringing back the old favorite, Lampert’s chief marketing officer called the new campaign a “marketplace of discoveries.”
Even though I have asked them several times and waited several months, Dell won’t stop sending me catalogs, so I’m burning them. Every other company that sends me catalogs that I’ve requested to be removed from their mailing list has done it. I have called customer service on two different occasions and requested to be removed. I have gone to the special website on the back of the catalogs and requested to be removed. I have done this for both the sets of names and addresses they have on file for me. They don’t care. I tried to be nice but obviously that doesn’t work. So burn, baby, burn. It may not stop the mailings, but I felt better afterwards. Another image of Dell catalog immolation, inside…
It’s annoying to have a bunch of useless catalogs cramming up your inbox, and they waste a lot of paper too. Now there’s a new, free, site that will get you off all the catalog mailing lists. It’s called Catalog Choice, an initiative endorsed by the the National Wildlife Federation and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Just sign up, fill in your address, and the customer number printed on the catalogs’ address label. The site’s staff then take care of contacting the catalog senders and getting off their mailing lists. Pretty much the easiest, fastest, and cheapest way to get rid of unwanted catalogs that we’ve ever heard of.
I’m happy to report that four months after requesting to get off the mailing lists for
DELL (update: just got another catalog from Dell. Bastards!), Movies Unlimited, Tempurpedic, Guitar Center, New School, and my dentist’s office, they’ve all complied. Yesterday I requested to get off Macy’s and LL Bean. Still need to get off Harry & David, Banana Republic, and Old Navy. Out of the blue, I’ve also been getting these mailing address labels sent to me by various charities and other random unexpected pieces of junk mail where before I got none. I’m sure my creditors appreciate my checks arriving with the return address splayed on a picturesque snowman scene. I think when I signed up for a free cologne sample is how I got on the lists. Pretty stupid and I should’ve known better, but I thought it was going to be a whole bottle. It ended up being just a piece of scented paper. I resubmitted my name to the Direct Marketing Association’s Do Not Mail list (it costs $1), which stops thousands of companies from junk mailing you.
We sat down to try to get our name off six mailing lists today. It’s really annoying to have all this crap clutter our mailbox. When we get it, we literally walk from the mailbox to the recycling bin. Dump. Nice marketing, guys.