Friday, 3 December 2010

November Catalogue Log

Christmas is coming and with it a rush of Christmas catalogues. In November we received and logged 167 catalogues, up 19.3 percent on last year’s 140 catalogues, and up 34.7 percent on November 2008, when we tracked 124 catalogues.

As volume increased, the number of special offers decreased. In November, we noted that just 46 of the catalogues we received, or 27.5 percent, promoted a discount or sale on the cover. This represents the lowest percentage of catalogues offering a special price promotion recorded in 2010. In fact, it’s the lowest percentage recorded since we began compiling the Catalogue Log back in late 2008. Up until now, April 2010 held the record for lowest percentage of sales and discounts, with 29.2 percent.

Clearly, cataloguers are watching their margins; sales and discounts were not the only promotion to decline during November. The number of catalogues promoting a free gift was also at its lowest for 2010, with just 8.4 percent, or 14 catalogues doing so. My favourite free gift promotion was from cosmetics retailer L’Occitane, which offered a goodie bag worth £25 with purchases of £35 or more.

Cataloguers were also shifting away from free shipping, with just 18 percent of front covers promoting free p&p. Among those offering free delivery, most opted for setting a spend threshold. Gifts marketer Aspen & Brown set quite a low threshold of £20, whilst craft supplies catalogue Baker Ross required customers to spend £75 online in order to qualify for free shipping.

Overall, more than half, 53.3 percent, of the catalogues we received last month did not promote any sort of special offer on the cover. Instead of special offers, some catalogues such as Lakeland, made customers aware of last order deadlines. Classicalia, the new brand from gifts cataloguer Nauticalia, opted for using the cover to highlight some of the products within, possibly to establish its range for new customers. Toys and games cataloguer/retailer Hawkin’s Bazaar, the self-proclaimed “Suppliers to Father Christmas since 1973”, went for a picture of a retro-looking, blast-of-colour snow globe full of toys on the cover. Toning it down for Christmas was homewares and gifts cataloguer Cox & Cox, which decided on a simple image of a mince pie tower and cocktail stick decorations.--MT

No comments:

Post a Comment