This is an open letter to all catalog happy retailers (warning, there is some ranting, a little shouting and a hint of sarcasm up ahead)…
To whom it may concern (since I have no idea how the catalog business works, even given my decades of interest in all things retail biz)…
I have one request and it’s fairly simple. STOP SENDING ME CATALOGS I DID NOT REQUEST! The above image is a mishmash of catalog mail I received in one week’s time. What? You’re shocked that I would request such a thing? Well, here’s a list of possible scenarios…ones in which I DO NOT want to be on your catalog mailing list…
-I’ve never ordered anything from you, in fact I’ve never even heard of you.
-I’ve ordered one thing from you, a gift for someone else. Like a wine decanter for da ex pup daddy, a baby shower gift or a shirt for my auntie or mama. All things I’m not interested in buying on a monthly basis.
-You don’t deliver to Hawaii anyway or treat Hawaii like a foreign country in your shipping rates.
-I’ve ordered an item from another retailer owned by your parent company.
-I’ve ordered from a retailer who DARED sell my name and address to you.
-I order from you regularly online but didn’t request a catalog. I repeat ONLINE. I’m an online shopper, not a catalog shopper, I like it that way. I suspect my tendency to online shop is partially responsible for this deluge of catalogs.
So, you won’t stop, huh. Well, ok then, I’m willing to negotiate. How about having your system kick out duplicate addresses? I recently changed my name back to my maiden and don’t enjoy getting duplicate catalogs from you. Speaking of duplicates, during the holiday season, many of you like to send duplicates of the same catalog (why?!) so sometimes I received four, two under my old name and two under my new name.
One more suggestion…make it easy to get off the mailing list. You’ve made it fairly easy to unsubscribe to emails, but many of you make us click here, there, everywhere to unsubscribe from your mailing list. Some of you even make me call (seriously, are you that lonely?). I’ve even tried Catalog Choice and some other sites to ease the process but because so many of you are missing from their options, that just creates another step in the process, I still end up having to navigate to your website after discovering you’re not on the list.
I have one last thing to say, from the perspective of a customer and someone who naturally thinks very much like a marketer and retailer…I would not mind a postcard or flyer with cool shots that would tempt me to check out your website. WWD sends the greatest bookmark of various covers with their subscription solicitations that I love and save. Tease me, don’t throw yourself at me (again and again).
With Best Regards,
Tania, aka MauiShopGirl
p.s. I actually love the catalogs by DWR (great write-ups on the history of mid-century classics and modern designers), JCrew (the best mix and match pour it on styling), Anthropologie (I want to live in your pretty print bohemian catalog), FLOR (great interior design and how to mix color shots) and Neiman Marcus The Book (like a high end magazine including great articles and interviews). I would choose to subscribe to your catalog if it had a little something something extra special to offer. But…I would also be more than happy to scope these out online with an email notification from you, if available (save the trees!).
And for the three retailers who I’ve never heard of but sent me catalogs the day after I snapped this pic and kicked that pile to the curb? Mahalo, I did need something to pack my Christmas ornaments in.