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Tactics > print production

Case in point: WorldStores invests in catalogues

WorldStores, the ECMOD Award- winning online retailer, clearly values the power of print. The company, which operates more than 70 niche online stores including LogCabinWorld, PatioHeatersWorld, and BedroomWorld, is introducing a print catalogue early next year featuring editorial in the form of “lifestyle articles” alongside products from its home and garden ranges. In July, the company secured £8.5 million investment from Advent Venture Partners and existing investor Balderton, enabling it to fund its next stage of growth.

Judicious use of print is there to be

seen, alive and kicking, and generating business from every corner of the market—business to business and business to consumer. Ironic too, that those who eschew print are keen as mustard to get their products reviewed in the press—because they know, as we do, that nothing drives traffic quite as dramatically as a favourable piece in a magazine or newspaper. It is a case in point too that the digital service providers also clamour to get their case studies and white papers into print media. The power of the press, no less. The amusing thing is that some will

say that PR coverage costs them nothing, therefore they pursue it. It may not cost anything if measured in media space terms, but aren’t they missing something? What about the fixed costs of the in- house staff responsible for PR and/or the external PR consultancy fees? We don’t suppose they get picked up in the right cost centre. There is a lot of talk too that social media will deliver customers free of charge—but again, who is calculating the fixed cost of the person(s) handling the social media interchange and how long before charges are levied by the leading networks? Going full circle here too, look at the publications that have folded or merged with others (NOTW apart). All publications with quality editorial offerings rely on advertising revenue— editorial does not create itself. Without it there will be no readers and the media will be unable to continue to serve their


“Catalogues are an essential part of our marketing mix as they are still the best vehicle for retaining customer loyalty and lifetime value, even when those customers have been acquired online and transact online. They also continue to play a significant role in new customer acquisition, both here in the UK and in all the European markets we currently serve.”

Tim Curtis,

managing director, Northern Europe, Lands’ End

Richard Tucker, co-chief executive

of WorldStores, says the catalogue’s focus will be on retention, rather than customer acquisition. It will be distributed to 500,000 WorldStores customers, complemented by inserts in relevant home and garden titles. The catalogue’s purpose is to “build brand awareness and drive repeat purchase” through WorldStores’ soon-to-launch umbrella site, explains Tucker. The new site will feature the company’s entire 150,000 home and garden product catalogue, “giving a one-stop-shop for everything home and garden,” he adds.

markets. Where else can the sales and credible brand-building contribution currently achieved from print media PR coverage be generated? Why, the customer magazine of course, and this is one area of print media that is booming. Many of these customer magazines are actually more akin to catalogues in their content but they are in print! Yes, many produce an iPad version, a digital page-turning edition for those who want it, but realise that to ignore the value and reach of the print edition would be suicidal.

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