Catalyst Direct Wins TUMI Account

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TUMI Inc., a maker and retailer of high-end luggage, business cases and accessories, appointed Catalyst Direct Inc., Rochester, NY, as its first direct marketing agency of record on a $2 million account.


Six agencies vied for the business, and two reached the final round. Names of the other shops were not disclosed.


The mission is "to increase their share of customers, acquire new customers and build their customer database," said Mike Osborn, managing director and co-founder of Catalyst. The direct marketing agency will offer TUMI services such as direct marketing planning, database profiling and analysis, creative and production management.


Founded in 1990, Catalyst clients include Chase Manhattan Bank, Eastman Kodak Co., Eckerd Corp., The Associates, Xerox Engineering Systems and Bank of America. Agency billings last year were $52 million.


Named for a Peruvian deity, TUMI, South Plainfield, NJ, targets upscale professionals for luggage items that sell in big department stores, specialty and company-owned stores in the United States and overseas.


Osborn said TUMI has aggressive growth plans this year, a key reason for using direct marketing. The company is broadening its product line to target younger professionals and women.


"The size and scope of their customer database today is not enough to support the long-term growth that they desire," Osborn said. "Also, the quality and durability of their products does not always provide opportunity for frequent purchase.


"So," he said, "what we have to do is grow the database and develop long-term relationships with their customers while supporting their stores and other retail relationships."


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