Frederick's Targets the Cosmo Girl and Mom

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Frederick's of Hollywood has taken out its first full-page advertisement in a major fashion magazine, Cosmopolitan, to generate prospecting leads.

The advertisement is featured in Cosmopolitan's June edition and offers 20 percent off purchases at its e-commerce site, retail stores and catalog.

Frederick's of Hollywood, Los Angeles, will track response rates by requiring customers either to present the ad at its retail stores or to use the ad code for online and catalog orders.

"Cosmopolitan is a proven list for us, and this piece was designed to gauge [consumer] response," said Danielle Savin, Frederick's vice president of direct marketing.

Cosmopolitan, which has a monthly circulation of 2.5 million, has similar demographics to Frederick's of Hollywood, which targets fashion-conscious women age 19 to 39 with annual household incomes of $25,000 to $75,000.

The ad marks the first time in nearly six years that Frederick's of Hollywood has taken out a full-page ad in any national magazine. Previous advertisements were in general-interest magazines.

As the company prepares to come out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which it filed for last July, Frederick's has placed additional dollars in its advertising budget for the fiscal year beginning in August to target other glossy fashion magazines, Savin said.

The effort is part of an overall business strategy created by the company last year to build its house file through aggressive prospecting efforts. This fiscal year the company was prospecting at a little more than 20 percent, and it intends to increase it to 40 percent for the upcoming year.

The cataloger also has stepped up its online efforts to attract its nontraditional shoppers -- middle-age moms.

Its Internet division conducted an online advertising campaign for Mother's Day that showcased mothers age 20 to 50 modeling lingerie. The mothers were featured on a poster, which was later put up for auction on eBay. Proceeds went to cancer research.

Last week, the cataloger partnered with the television show "Inside Edition" to follow an Orlando, FL, mother who became a Frederick's of Hollywood model for a day. Pictures of the photo shoot were placed on Frederick's Web site with a connection to the "Inside Edition" Web site for show listings.

Frederick's of Hollywood's catalog division has been trying to regain its position in the industry. It had been struggling since the lingerie marketer went from being publicly owned to a private company nearly four years ago. Wilshire Partners, Newport Beach, CA, purchased the firm from Knightsbridge Capital Corp., Chicago, last July.

Since last summer, the company has focused on restructuring its catalog and getting its house file back on track.

Part of restructuring included updating the catalog's look by modernizing its lingerie and women's clothing collections with fashions inspired by Gucci and Versace clothing lines.

The cataloger also eliminated items that were not paying their way, including swimwear because of its high return rate, to focus on items that are proven sales draws.


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