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Bare Necessities Goes Direct: 1M Catalogue Mailings This Year

Bare Necessities, the 10-year-old lingerie retailer, will launch its first catalogue this month.

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Bare Necessities, the 10-year-old lingerie retailer, will launch its first catalogue this month.

This story first appeared in the May 5, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

After a brisk online business during the last several years with consecutive annual sales increases of at least 40 percent, the $35 million company is broadening its reach to consumers “who might not otherwise shop online,” said Dan Sackrowitz, vice president of marketing and business development.

“We feel it’s the next logical step for the company,” Sackrowitz said. “We already have a great foundation with customer service, inventory management and processing returns, all of the things that make a successful Web business. All this sets the foundation for a successful catalogue business and it all is taking place as we add on our 1 millionth customer to our database.”

The catalogue was created by Haggin Marketing, photographed by Andrew Marcinko and styled by Ida Komis. More than 300,000 mailings of the 32-page book, featuring summer merchandise, are scheduled to drop by May 14. By year’s end, a million catalogues will be mailed, Sackrowitz said.

Brands in the catalogue include: Wacoal Luxe, Wacoal, Le Mystère, Chantelle, Hanro, Calvin Klein Underwear, Cosabella, Aubade, Simone Perele, Huit, Hanky Panky, Freya, Fantasie, Panache, Felina, Jezebel, Lunaire, Commando, Va Bien, Maidenform, Cass, The Body Wrap, Miraclesuit, Sassybax and Spanx.

“The book focuses mainly on bras, as well as panties and shapewear,” Sackrowitz said. “On our Bare Necessities Web site, we also sell men’s underwear and hosiery, but the first catalogue will focus on our core business, bras. We’ll expand into other categories in the future. The catalogues will be mailed nationwide, but we have a high lingerie following in areas like New York, California and Seattle, where broadband penetration was higher earlier.”

Sackrowitz added that he expects Internet business to continue to be the “big driver” this year.

“The catalogue contribution should be fairly modest in 2008, less than 10 percent,” he said. “But we expect bigger things in 2009 and beyond.”

He noted that the company plans to market the catalogue on its e-commerce site.

“There will be a place on the site for people to sign up to receive the catalogue and also fill out an application to see the catalogue online,” he said. “It’s another way for us to speak with our customers in addition to e-mails and newsletters. We suspect most people will order online after receiving the mailer. The catalogue really is a snapshot of what the customer can see online.”

Regarding how the Bare Necessities catalogue will stack up against major players such as Victoria’s Secret and Frederick’s of Hollywood, Sackrowitz said, “It’s another alternative. They have great catalogues with longtime customers. But we’ll have some of the top brands and designer names in the business, and will offer a diversity of brands and designer products.”

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