The plan hatched by Mr. Diamond and co-founders Jim Johnson and Sam Gradess was "not just to sell products but to be a brand that could reach [teens] and be a conduit for corporate America."
Eight years later, the company has met its goal. Each issue of the ABC-audited catalog reaches 2.3 million teen girls, says Mr. Diamond, 35. "We have a 27 million-name database, and we edit it down to the best of the best," he says. Catalog recipients are teen girls who are "active and purchase from us." He says that 2% to 10% of readers respond to each catalog and the average purchase is $88.
Along with sales, the catalog puts advertisers including Rite Aid Corp., Cingular Wireless and Island Def Jam Music Group in the teen spotlight.
While the Alloy has strong brand recognition among its target group, last year it decided to buy Delia's, a slightly more expensive catalog and chain of stores that sells its own brand of clothes. "We had a pretty good market share and Delia's had the rest," says Mr. Diamond. And between the two, he says, "our opportunities for advertisers will continue to expand."