Merchant Beefs Up With Web Site, Catalog Launches

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As far as catalogers go, there's a new kid on the butcher block.


The Platinum Beef & Seafood Co., St. Louis, is expected to drop its first print catalog in late September to drive traffic to its Web site, which it hopes to launch in late August.


"It's not going to be the meat equivalent of the Sears big book," said Art Dupree, president of The Platinum Beef & Seafood Co. "We will have a good selection of the best of the best in the catalog, but there'll be a much more extensive selection on the Web site."


While Platinum does not expect to generate many orders on the site, www.platinumbeef.com, until the rollout of the catalog and simultaneous publicity effort, said Dupree, the company thinks the site should launch first so it can test before it starts picking up traffic.


"Nothing beats a live test," Dupree said. "Nobody comes up with the questions that you can't answer like real customers."


The inaugural catalog drop will mail to 100,000 high-income mail-order buyers who've expressed an interest in high-end cooking utensils and gourmet foods. Mokrynski & Associates, Hackensack, NJ, and Direct Response Service, St. Louis, will handle list brokerage for the beef merchant.


After the initial rollout the book will be mailed at intervals totaling 250,000 with an alternate cover through January. Platinum plans to produce its second book -- which is slated to be mailed mid-February -- for Easter.


Platinum's book is being designed inhouse. The gourmet marketer has not made a final decision on a printer.
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