Hammacher Schlemmer

If Direct Mail Is Dying, It's Sure Taking Its Time
December 6, 2013

This is a record year for catalogs jamming my mailbox. It’s great. It’s great that I get them, at least 100 so far this season, and it’s even greater that so many companies continue to produce them. Why do they do it in this era of e-commerce? Lots of reasons, but the short version is that direct mail, catalogs in particular, work. They’re profitable and they bring in revenue the companies can’t touch with electronic marketing alone. The enduring power of direct mail is connected to two often-overlooked societal phenomena: 1. The mail is often the only reliable way

The Antithesis of the 'Social Media' Catalog
November 21, 2012

Have you noticed this too? Since Nov. 1, I have seen 42 articles in the various publications, newsletters and blogs to which I subscribe on how to use social media to grow my business. I have not seen a single article on traditional cataloging. I know that for many of you who are catalog practitioners, this over-saturation of the media with stories on the potential success of social media, and its close cousin, mobile marketing, causes problems. Your boss, or someone in upper management, or a board member, sends you an email asking why you are not doing

Lillian Vernon, Sharper Image Crash. Why?
February 25, 2008

The king of high-end tchotchkes (Richard Thalheimer, former CEO and chairman of The Sharper Image) and queen of low-end tchotchkes (Lillian Vernon) have been dethroned. Lillian Vernon and Sharper Image—two iconic catalogs—were known to have been struggling in recent years. Their bankruptcies were expected. That they were announced on the same day is astonishing. How could this happen? Both Vernon and Thalheimer launched businesses without paying their dues. Ultimately, neither of them knew what the hell they were doing. Lillian Vernon’s Story In 1933, Lillian Katz’s family fled the Nazis. They left Leipzig, Germany, for Amsterdam, and four years later were lucky enough to