The worst thing about the catalog business is the cost of printing and mailing all those catalogs.
So you’d think that catalog companies would drive all their sales online, and cut back on or eliminate print catalogs altogether.
According to the Associated Press (11/26/06), L.L. Bean expects to mail a staggering quarter of a billion catalogs this year — up 50 million from the 200 million they mailed 2 years ago.
Reason: “It is the best way for us to get lasting impressions in front of our customers,” says Bean spokesman Rich Donaldson.
“Most customers hang onto catalogs for weeks, using them for reference, making them far more valuable than Web-based marketing,” concludes the AP report.
So are print catalogs here to stay?
Or is this only a temporary reprieve, until the generation being born today — who are growing up with computers and the Internet, not print, as their primary information source — comes of age?