While we don’t often deal in absolutes, there are some things we are 100% certain about. The cover of a 1920s trade catalog with the title “This is Underwear Time” — complete with the illustration of a a man getting dressed while his dog looks on — is one of those times where we can unequivocally proclaim to have found a truly (possibly unintentionally) brilliant piece of marketing. [More]
Shh… can you hear that? If you listen very, very closely, it’s the grumbling of lumbersexuals and other hipsters across the land, groaning over the fact that their L.L. Bean duck boots are hopelessly backordered. And winter is almost over! Have no fear, in the future it could be easier to ensure your feet are properly clad in rubber-toed boots before you take a photo of them somewhere interesting, as the retailer is aiming to open a slew of new stores in the next five years. [More]
Last week, JCPenney announced that part of its comeback strategy is to…bring back its print catalogs. That seems counterintuitive when more people are shopping online, but it isn’t. JCPenney and Restoration Hardware aren’t alone in bringing back catalogs printed on dead trees. Only they aren’t the catalogs that you might have used in 1987: they’re glossy branded magazines. [More]
In general, your mailbox probably contains fewer catalogs than it used to. Retailer JCPenney killed off their dead-tree division back in 2010, choosing to follow American shoppers online. Or so they thought. The company is bringing back a catalog filled with housewares after learning that the print catalog actually led to more online sales. [More]
Much in the way that not everyone is a size 0 or built like a Greek god, not everyone who wants to dress in nice clothes has the use of all of their limbs. Then there are all the people with disabilities that aren’t immediately evident, but which nonetheless have a huge impact on their lives. These folks represent billions of dollars in buying power, but often go overlooked in fashion advertising, though not in the pages of Nordstrom catalogs. [More]
Two years ago, Restoration Hardware got some media attention for putting out a 5.5 pound, almost 1000-page-long “Source Book,” which is effectively a catalog. Maybe they want even more attention this year, which is why they’ve dispatched UPS to dump 17 pounds of catalogs on customers’ doorsteps. [More]
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.