Journeys Is Stepping Up Its Catalog Circulation

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While Journeys has only started to test print catalogs this year, the multichannel teen footwear company plans to mail 5 million catalogs next year -- its first full year in the catalog business -- and plans to increase its circulation to 10 million in 2002.


"We're fine-tuning our offering," said Bret Moore, vice president of marketing and e-commerce at Journeys, who estimates that the company will mail just more than 1 million catalogs before the end of this year.


Journeys mailed its inaugural print book to 300,000 12- to 22-year-olds in late October, and the cataloger dropped two more mailings of 250,000 each in November. It also plans to re-mail books in December.


Journeys, a subsidiary of 86-year-old footwear retailer and wholesaler Genesco Inc., Nashville, TN, produced a separate book for girls and boys. The books sell the same products but have different front and back covers and pagination. Sixty-five percent of the catalogs are mailed to girls.


The 13-year-old company is mailing 60 percent of its catalogs to teens who have requested the catalog either in store or online, with the rest sent to prospects. Fasano & Associates, Los Angeles, and Mokrynski & Associates Inc., Hackensack, NJ, are handling the marketer's list brokerage.


"We are getting a tremendous volume of requesters online, even before we had a catalog," Moore said. "It's been very surprising. We're building that requester database fairly rapidly."


Journeys, which generated $213 million in combined e-commerce and retail sales last year, is slated to produce three books next year.


The spring book is expected to reach homes between March and May. The back-to-school catalog will hit homes July through September, and the holiday book will mail November to January.


"Certainly [the winter] holiday [season] is our best time of year, but back-to-school runs a very close second for us," Moore said.


World Color, Itasca, IL, prints Journeys' books. Catalogs By Design, King of Prussia, PA, designs the Journeys catalogs. Fulfillment is handled internally.


In early November, the company relaunched its Web site, www.journeys.com.


"We basically tied the creative of the Web site in with the catalog so that the two were seamless," Moore said.


While the site had been e-commerce-enabled since February 1999, Journeys aimed to make shopping online easier for its customers by adding more efficient search capabilities, better graphics and an increased product selection. The company also added tell-a-friend and customer wish list functions.


In mid-November, Journeys sent e-mails to the 65,000 e-mail addresses in its database to notify customers of the new site, offering recipients free shipping on orders of more than $100 placed online. Journeys sends customers e-mails no more than twice per month.


Journeys ran a national ad campaign on MTV promoting the site during the back-to-school season. The campaign also is expected to run during the winter holidays.


Multimedia Live, Petaluma, CA, manages the virtual storefront, and Journeys handles the back end.


Last July the company launched a teen magazine -- focused on music, the Internet and fashion -- called Dig. Copies are given to customers with each in-store purchase or can be bought for $2 in stores. Yearly subscriptions to Dig can be obtained for $5.95.


Dig is produced every other month and is published by Daycom Communications, Nashville, TN, in conjunction with Journeys.


Advertisers are Journeys' vendors and other companies ranging from sellers of apparel to record companies.


"We wanted to give [our customers] something that they could pick up and call their own that's not heavily sell-oriented," said Moore, who expects that Journeys will test some combination mailings with the catalog and the magazine in the future.


By the end of the year, Journeys plans to have 423 retail stores.

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