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How does a fly fishing company transition to an e-commerce world? Such is the story of Orvis, which was founded before the Civil War as a fishing tackle business. Today, the company is regarded the oldest US retailer.

Ray McCready, president of Orvis, says that a commitment to multichannel, while maintaining the same values across avenues, is partially responsible for the company's success in recent years.

“Who knew when the bubble was happening that the winners of the Web wouldn't always be the pure plays, but the catalogers who had fulfillment operations?” he says, adding that “early adoption is very important. We kept adding functionality – we got into putting the URL on the catalog pages early, and embraced the idea that it was supposed to be that way.”

Among its more notable recent direct marketing campaigns is the 2007 Orvis Rewards Visa card.

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