Miles Kimball Expands Insert Offerings Through ALC

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Multi-title cataloger Miles Kimball Co. announced the expansion of its insert media offerings this month as well as the consolidation of program management at American List Counsel and the integration of its insertion operations at its new fulfillment center.

Though Miles Kimball dabbled in package inserts a few years ago, it wasn't until early this year when its parent company, Blyth Inc., bought two other catalog titles with existing insert programs that it decided to upgrade its distribution facility and add new programs.

Blyth, Greenwich, CT, a home decor and home fragrance company that sells via multiple distribution channels in North America, Europe and Australia, completed its acquisition of Walter Drake Co. and its catalogs Walter Drake and The Home Marketplace in late January. It had purchased Miles Kimball Co., which consisted of the Miles Kimball catalog, Christmas Cards by Miles Kimball and Exposures catalog, in April 2003.

"With the integration of the Walter Drake titles, it was the perfect opportunity to launch the Miles Kimball insert programs," said Vicki Updike, vice president of marketing at Miles Kimball, Oshkosh, WI. She is responsible for the Miles Kimball, Christmas Cards by Miles Kimball, Exposures, Walter Drake and The Home Marketplace brands.

However, the first thing that needed to be done was to upgrade the firm's Oshkosh distribution center where all brands' orders are fulfilled.

"Miles Kimball had a package insert program a few years back but it was discontinued because the process flow for package inserts was not automated to the point where we needed it," Updike said. "We completed a new distribution center in May and got the efficiencies worked out so that we could launch the new programs in June."

The new programs include the Miles Kimball package insert program offering 1.6 million annual inserts at a cost of $60/M and the Exposures PIP of 300,000 annual inserts costing $70/M.

Also new to the market are the Miles Kimball catalog blow-in program with 2 million inserts yearly and a price of $30/M and the Exposures catalog blow-ins offering 6 million insert opportunities annually at $35/M.

Updike describes Miles Kimball customers as mainly female and older than 55.

"Lifestyle-wise, they are very active, patriotic and price conscious," she said. "They also are readers, part of their church clubs, they play cards and they travel to see their grandchildren who they buy gifts for."

Updike sees many synergies with the Walter Drake programs. Aside from the more obvious mailers such as gift and general merchandise, she said, nonprofit fundraisers are one category that probably would have success using the programs.

The Walter Drake catalog blow-in program consists of 30 million inserts annually and costs $30/M. The Walter Drake premium package insert program consists of 400,000 annual packages and costs $60/M. The Walter Drake PIP offers 2 million packages yearly and costs $60/M.

The Home Marketplace catalog blow-in program has 15 million inserts annually and costs $30/M. The Home Marketplace PIP offers 350,000 annual packages and costs $60/M.

The Walter Drake and The Home Marketplace programs moved to ALC this month, and the Miles Kimball programs joined them. Walter Drake has worked with Dean Barile for about six years, and Miles Kimball wanted to continue working with him, Updike said. Barile joined ALC on June 1 as managing partner and to head the firm's new ALC/Insert Media division.

"We expect the Miles Kimball programs to do very well and to see a lot of natural crossover from the Walter Drake programs," he said.


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