Hanover Launches Company Kid's Catalog

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Eighty-nine year old cataloger The Company Store, La Crosse, WI, may seem a little old to be thinking about kids, but the merchant said yesterday it mailed its first catalog targeted to infants, children, and teens, dubbed Company Kids, last week.

"We've been in the youth, infant, and juvenile markets for many, many years in our core product categories with down comforters and crib accessories and bedding, and over time we've continued to expand around that offering," said Jeff Potts, president of The Company Store, a division of Hanover Brands, Inc., Hanover Direct's business-to-consumer subsidiary.

While this is the multi-titled cataloger's first separate catalog for children, the company is no stranger to product offerings for kids. The marketer tested with less than 100 products in The Company Store's catalog last fall and Hanover has also tested kids' merchandise in its Domestications catalog.

Company Kids was mailed to a cross-section of Company Store and Hanover Direct customers, as well as external lists, according to Potts who declined to say how many catalogs were mailed. ALC of New York and List Advisor, Inc., Farmingdale, NY are the list brokers for both The Company Store and Company Kids. Quad/Graphics, Inc., Pewaukee, WI handles printing for the Kid's book.

The 64-page catalog, the 14th Hanover Brands title, is designed in-house, and with freelancers.

Pottery Barn Kids catalog will be a likely competitor for Hanover's new endeavor, but "they're more hard goods [furniture] focused, and we're more soft goods [linens] focused," said Potts, adding that more catalogers are expanding their apparel offerings for kids.

Meanwhile, an e-commerce site for Company Kids will be launched later this month, and www.companystore.com features Company Kid's products; however, consumers can only request a Pottery Barn Kids catalog on Pottery Barn's site, not order products for children from it. Pottery Barn launched its Kids catalog in January 1999.

Hanover plans to mail the spring catalog once more, and will begin production this month on a catalog it plans to mail towards the end of the summer. The cataloger also plans to produce a holiday book.

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