Touchstone's February catalog was its last

Share this content:

Facing an uncertain economy and a dwindling universe of names for its acquisition efforts, cataloger Touchstone has made the decision to shut down. The last issue of the quarterly home décor book was mailed on February 25, and live orders will continue to be taken until the end of April.

Sarah Luce, a former commercial interior designer, founded Touchstone in 1989. Its customers are mostly women 55 years who are interested in traditional home furnishings.

“The postal increase in 2007 really impacted our ability to mail profitably,” said Luce, starting the cycle that ended with the decision to shut down the business. Because of the postal increase, Touchstone decreased its circulation, which meant it had fewer names to add to its house list with its next mailing, a cycle that continued over the next year and a half. With many of the company's competitors exiting the home décor category in recent years as well, there have been fewer circulation lists for Touchstone to rent.

“There used to be 20 line items of outside lists we could choose from, and now it's down to five or six,” said Luce.

Still, Touchstone started out 2009 with sales holding their own in January, which Luce attributes to the presidential inauguration. Once the economic situation started taking a turn for the worse, however, sales began to drop off.

“We have a very traditional customer,” said Luce. “If there's chaos in Washington or in the world, it affects our customers.”

In February, the company ran some numbers and made the decision to shut down. “This is not a bankruptcy; it's an orderly shut down of business,” said Luce.  


Next Article in Direct Mail

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Brightcove is the world's leading video platform. The most innovative and respected brands confidently rely on Brightcove to solve their most demanding communication challenges because of the unmatched performance and flexibility of our platform, our global scale and reliability, and our award-winning service. With thousands of customers and an industry-leading suite of cloud video products, Brightcove enables customers to drive compelling business results.

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