Catalogue volume continued to decline in June. We received and logged just 75 catalogues in June 2010, compared with 129 this time last year. However, of those 75 catalogues, 60 percent carried some sort of special offer—including sales or discounts, free delivery or a free gift.
Breaking the data down further, the most popular offer was a sale or discount, offered by 40 percent of the catalogue covers we tracked. On the other hand, just 11 catalogues promised free delivery. That’s down appreciably from 24.1 percent of the May 2010 catalogues. The percentage of cataloguers offering a free gift was also significantly lower than last month—down from 20.5 percent to just 12 percent.
Among the offers we received was this from furniture retailer Barker and Stonehouse. Its 16-page summer sale catalogue was mailed with 10 vouchers worth £25 each. Customers were allowed to use one voucher per £500 they spent at the store or online.
As well as giving new customers 25 percent off “everything”, the Gray & Osbourn deal also included free P&P. The winner, though, in what could be the most free gifts ever promoted on a front cover, has to be Healthy Living Direct. Its catalogue promised free clip-on crystal earrings with any order of any amount, as well as two “surprise” free gifts.
Of the catalogues that didn’t promote a special offer, I liked this from shoe retailer Office. The magazine-format catalogue was inserted into Heat magazine and was themed around festivals—one of its main cover lines was a competition to win tickets to the Isle of Wight Festival. In true magalogue style, there’s a mix of editorial features alongside product—for example, the Festival lowdown lists all major festivals in the UK and abroad and the Field Day and Carry on Camping features spotlight products that will help you survive the festival season. Office has also cleverly formatted its shoe-related features. It has some great ideas to steal—from including a Staff Style section looking at what is worn around the Office office, to spreads that won’t look out of place in women’s fashion magazines.--MT