Catalog sales show robust growth

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Chicago--Catalog sales are on the rise, up 11% in the first quarter, compared with the same period last year, H. Robert Wientzen, president-CEO of the Direct Marketing Association, told attendees Tuesday at the DMA’s 21st Annual Catalog Conference in Chicago.

Catalog sales exceeded $15 billion last year and are expected to continue to grow over the next several years, Wientzen said. “This is projected to compound 4.7% annually over the next four years, hitting $19 billion in 2008,” he said.

Wientzen also said catalogers’ e-mail use has increased; 66% of those surveyed indicated they increased their e-mail marketing campaigns in the past year. Respondents said 14% of online sales were the result of an e-mail campaign.

Wientzen also updated DMA members regarding the threat of remote sales tax collection. The association’s lobbying has until now helped block efforts by individual states to force catalogers to collect remote sales taxes, and Wientzen pledged to catalogers that “the DMA will continue to fight the fight.”

--Carol Krol

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