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Catalog comeback

Sears Wish Book returns for holidays

Sears catalog
Sears will mail a 120-page Wish Book to select customers this holiday season.

Sears is turning to the mail to boost its holiday sales.

The department store chain is reviving its Wish Book, the iconic publication that was a holiday staple for millions of families for almost 80 years.

Select customers will receive a 120-page Wish Book — last printed in 2011 — in their mailboxes this year. The catalog will feature hundreds of gift options, including appliances, housewares, clothing and toys.

“Our members told us they missed the Wish Book, so we had to bring it back, but in a special way that lets you share more joy wherever you are,” said Kelly Cook, Sears’ chief marketing officer.

The catalog will also be available in stores, while a digital version is available for tablets, laptops and smartphones.

The Sears Wish Book debuted in 1933 with an 88-page edition that showcased a Miss Pigtails doll, a Mickey Mouse watch, Lionel electric trains and live singing canaries, among other products.

The Wish Book helped revolutionize catalog shopping with offerings that even included mail-order homes.

Despite the popularity of online shopping, many consumers continue to make purchases through catalogs.

Approximately 9.8 billion catalogs were mailed last year, according to the Data and Marketing Association, while USPS research shows 42 percent of households read catalogs.

“When you have that physical catalog, customers might ponder it longer, even write notes on it,” marketing executive David Naumann recently told RetailDIVE, an industry news site. “It’s something you really can’t replicate in other media.”

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