Magellan's Entices Buyers With Travel-Packing Guide

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Magellan's Spring 2001 Reference Edition catalog is using an educational component to drive sales. Purchasers will receive a free booklet that instructs travelers on how to pack compactly.

"We offer luggage, so it would make sense to offer something to make packing a lot easier as an incentive for our customers," said Jack Kotowsky, Magellan's catalog marketing manager. The drop coincided with the debut of the Magellan's II Collection luggage line of expandable rolling bags, he said.

Magellan's, Santa Barbara, CA, used a combination of its house database and rented lists acquired from Acculist, Ventura, CA. The 68-page color travel-supply catalog -- which dropped during the final week of 2000, when 2.5 million books went out -- was one of four editions mailed during the year. The spring 2001 book features more than 500 items, including luggage, clothing, travel guidebooks and travel gear.

While sales from the recent drop have not been compiled, the company's catalogs traditionally generate an average sales order of $80.

The catalog is targeted to well-educated people age 35 to 75 who are interested in international travel and have an annual household income of more than $50,000.

Design agency Balint & Reinecke, Santa Barbara, created Magellan's spring catalog, which mixes Magellan's travel items with detailed descriptions of the products.

"We did a few different things in this catalog," Kotowsky said. "For example, on the third page we listed some of our favorite products with quotes from our own staff members [who described] why these items are our favorites."

Mahli McGee, a Magellan's travel gear specialist, described why she likes silk undergarments featured in the catalog: "Heavy coats take up too much room. I always pack my Travelsilks, so they're handy when the weather turns cold unexpectedly. (I sleep in them, too.)"

The products appearing on page three also refer the shopper to the page where the item's complete description can be found.

"Because we are introducing a new line of luggage, the next two pages are devoted to the luggage, explaining the features and how they benefit customers," Kotowsky said.

The catalog is printed on Liberty 2000, 60-pound paper. Each page includes between three and eight items, with some pages containing one product with different variations. The book also includes the company's Web site, fax number and toll-free number at the bottom of almost every right-hand page. Items range in price from $2.85 for sunblock to $325 for a garment bag.

The catalog also features electrical equipment designed for travel with a guide to the world's electrical and telephone connections and explains how Magellan's equipment can be used in a specific country.

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