DMA Study: Catalog Sales Growth Outpaces Overall Retail Growth

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BOSTON -- Even in a sluggish economy, catalog sales continue to increase at more than twice the rate of overall retail growth, according to a study released yesterday by the Direct Marketing Association.


The study, called "Economic Impact: U.S. Direct and Interactive Marketing Today," was released at the 18th Annual Catalog Conference at the Hynes Convention Center.


The study predicts that catalog sales will reach $120 billion this year, an 8.9 percent increase over 2000 sales of $110.2 billion. In comparison, overall retail sales are projected to grow from $3.2 trillion in 2000 to $3.3 trillion in 2001, a 3.1 percent increase.


"Although some individual companies are experiencing difficulty, the catalog industry continues to grow at a healthy pace," said H. Robert Wientzen, DMA president/CEO. "This is consistent with the traditional performance of catalogs and other types of direct marketing, which, because of their efficiency, tend to do well even in times of economic uncertainty."


The study also found that although Internet sales are slowing from their triple-digit growth rate in recent years, the Internet remains the fastest-growing direct marketing medium. Web-generated sales are expected to reach $37.1 billion this year, an increase of 32 percent over 2000 sales of $28 billion.


The study said that while both catalog and Internet-generated sales are expected to grow at a slower pace from 2001 through 2006, this trend is consistent with a projected slowing of overall retail sales.


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