News | February 16, 2000

Cataloguers Seeking a Bigger Piece of the Online Pie

Apparel catalogue giants, Eddie Bauer, Sundance, Victoria's Secret and Land's End continue to expand their online stores without exception.

With increased security and consumer awareness for online shopping, and the expansion of operating tools, it is no wonder we see direct mail companies investing more dollars into eBusiness programs.

Kids Stuff Inc, another direct mail company, announced its interest in a strategic partnership with Internet based companies to extend their direct merchant concept online.

Kids Stuff, Inc. publishes four catalogs upscale children's clothing. While the Company's net sales from its catalogs have grown from $5.7 million in 1995 to $16.7 million in 1999, it was the Company's start-up website, that has captured the Company's focus for growth and expansion.

Kids Stuff, Inc. President Jeanne Miller stated "We were delighted when reached 7.9% of our sales in its first quarter ended December 31, 1999. While January is traditionally a slower sales period for retailers in general, it wasn't for us. The run-rate we projected for the third quarter looks like it will be achieved this month. We thought that we could ultimately double our sales with e-commerce – and we were right – but it seems to be developing quicker than we thought."

The US apparel retail market estimated sales were up 6.5 percent in December 1999, with apparel and accessory sales at US $11.4 billion, up from 10.7 billion in December 1998. Other reported online earnings include Lands' End, with an increase from US $18 Million to US $61 Million between 1998 and 1999, more than triple from previous year's earnings.

While Kids Stuff is developing its own web-based platform, it is seeking to expedite its integration into world of the web. Miller continued, "We simply believe that we can best exploit our position by aligning ourselves with a strong web-based Company."

Kids Stuff, Inc. has retained Ulin & Holland, of Boston, MA, to identify potential mergers and strategic partners for the Company, and to assist in consummating an agreement. Ulin & Holland is a leading merger and acquisition firm serving the catalog industry.

Edited by Anndrea Vorobej