Catalogs, Net continue growth

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Catalog and Internet sales continue their strong growth, according to data released today by the Direct Marketing Association, New York. Catalog sales continue to grow at a faster rate than retail sales in the U.S. Catalog sales are expected to exceed $93 billion in 1999, which would represent a 9.4% increase over '98. From 1994-99, catalog sales grew 8.6% annually, while retail sales grew 4.7%. For 1999-2004, the 6.1% annual growth rate forecast in catalog sales is expected to exceed retail growth, projected at 3.6% annually. Catalog advertising won't increase as steeply as catalog sales. From 1999-2004, catalog ad spending is expected to climb only 4.2%. From 1994-99, catalog ad expenditures grew 8.5% annually. On the Internet front, Net-generated sales are expected to exceed $11 billion in 1999, nearly double '98 sales of $5.9 billion. From 1994-99, interactive sales grew 201.9% annually; sales growth from 1999-2004 is projected at 50.2%. Interactive ad spending is expected to grow 45.7% annually from 1999-2004, compared with 160.2% growth from 1994-99. The DMA catalog and Internet performance is documented in its ongoing study "Economic Impact: U.S. Direct Marketing Today," conducted by WEFA Group.

Copyright May 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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