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Yule ’logs

Retailers, shoppers turning to holiday catalogs

Assortment of holiday catalogs
Catalogs are getting a new lease on life as retailers try to battle email fatigue and other factors. Image: Los Angeles Times

Sears isn’t the only company in the catalog game this holiday season.

Neiman Marcus, Toys R Us, Wayfair and other retailers are also using the publications to cut through email clutter and social media saturation.

“The ability to stand out in that physical mailbox is easier than it was 10 years ago. Marketers are taking advantage of that and they are beginning to see a positive response,” Neil O’Keefe, senior vice president of content and marketing for the Data and Marketing Association, told the Los Angeles Times last week.

Consumers received 9.8 billion catalogs in the mail last year, down from a peak 19.6 billion in 2007, according to USPS and industry data.

However, because consumers are receiving fewer catalogs, the attention paid to individual mailpieces is rising. In 2016, the response rate for catalogs increased 23 percent from the previous year, the Data and Marketing Association reports.

Consumers like Lauren von Bernuth welcome the revival of catalogs, especially the iconic Sears Wish Book.

The publications bring back pleasant memories — and they’re also effective, the 36-year-old Los Angeles boxing trainer told the Times.

“It’s nice to just put the phone down for once and have a physical object in your hands,” she said.

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