Teen Boys, A Difficult Sell for Catalogers

Share this content:
Teen-age boy cataloger Droog, New York, has made their mail-order buyers available, as of April 6, through Fasano & Associates, Los Angeles.

After about a year and a half of mailing, the 29,000 names on the file are miniscule compared to the hundreds of thousands of buyers that Delia's, their sister publication aimed at teen-age girls, boasts. The numbers indicate that Generation Y's girls are easier to reach than their male peers.

"It's much harder to tap into that market. To reach those boys, you're really looking at lifestyle things that the boys are doing," said Susan Gilbert, president of list management at Fasano. She added that surfing, snowboarding and skateboarding magazine lists are ideal for reaching the Gen Y boys. However, these publication files are relatively small themselves, and subscribers are not necessarily catalog shoppers.

Alloy, New York, a competitor of Delia's in the teen girl arena, has made some attempts at selling boys merchandise as well. Their list broker, Tricia Fleming, a vice president at Mokrynski & Associates Inc., Hackensack, NJ, said, "It is difficult to use that as your primary market," refering to the lack of catalogers targeting teen boys. The Alloy mail order buyer file contains more than 380,000 catalog buyers, of which 11 percent are male.

"We are still testing and defining what boys want," said Sharon Pommer, vice president/general merchandise manager at Alloy. "For us, it is an emerging market."

When the Alloy catalog debuted in 1997, it contained both girls' and boys' merchandise. In reaction to customer response, the boys' merchandise has been pulled from the core book and featured in a catalog insert called "Slam 4 Guys," which, according to Pommer, has mailed three times over the past five months. Whether a separate title for boys is in Alloy's future will depend upon further analysis and customer demand.

The similarly merchandised Droog and Slam 4 Guys both consist mainly of skate and surf T-shirts, baggy pants and shorts, sneakers and backpacks. Pommer said, "The edge of the merchandise is a little bit different," between the two.

Droog could not be reached for comment on its future plans in the teen-age boy market.

Droog.com and Alloy.com both sell boys apparel and accessories online, but neither makes their Internet buyers available for list rental.

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

We recently were named B2B Magazine's Direct Marketing Agency of the Year, and with good reason: We make real, measureable, positive change happen for our clients. A full-service agency founded in 1974, Bader Rutter expertly helps you get the right message to the right audience at the right time through the right channels. As we engage our clients' audiences along their journey, direct marketing (email, direct mail, phone, SMS) and behavioral marketing (SEM, retargeting, contextual) channels deliver information relevant to the needs of each stage. We are experts at implementing and leveraging marketing technologies such as CRM and marketing automation in order to synchronize sales and marketing communications. Our team of architects and activators plan, execute, measure and adjust in real time to ensure the strategy is working as needed and change things if it's not.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above