As a result of this self-analysis, Wolferman's further expanded the theme concepts with the creative and merchandising mix. Explains Brady, "We added some new designs for the products—more themes like the holiday plaid and the lodge pattern."
Around the same time, the company also determined its photography needed improvement. "We decided it was a good idea to upgrade the photography to better showcase the new themes and the food in the catalog," Brady says. "So we hired a new photographer—and what a difference we could immediately see with the new shots."
An Appetite for Success
"I'm happy to say that Wolferman's was a mature catalog that's now experiencing a rebirth due to a refocusing on the marketing issues, an overhaul of its catalog creative and a little fine-tuning of its merchandising," Trollinger says. Overall, last year, Wolferman's was able to increase its catalog circulation by 4.5 percent to 5 percent. And, according to Trollinger, that size of an increase would normally yield a 2 percent to 3 percent increase in catalog sales. Wolferman's had even greater success: Sales increased 12 percent last year, so the efforts are paying off.
But Wolferman's isn't just resting on those successes. Its strategy is to continue to invest in the business and to pursue further growth. Brady says plans are in place to "continue to focus on our space ads and our prospecting lists. In 2004, we expanded our newspapers to more cities, giving us a broader reach. We're planning to increase the space advertising circulation again this year."
In the catalog, notes Brady, "We have to continue to refine our merchandise assortment—combining designs that speak to consumer trends with the high quality food products that consumers expect from Wolferman's."
Founded: 1888, as a corner grocer
Parent company: Williams Foods