On Heels of Successful Test, Oriac Plans Four U.S. Catalog Drops

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Oriac Design declared its test drop of 300,000 catalogs throughout the Northeast in November to have been successful following a $400 average sales order.

Plans are in the works to drop four catalogs nationally throughout the year -- one each quarter -- with the first drop planned for March.

Oriac used lists rented from MeritDirect, Stamford, CT, but plans to build its own database of customers through additional prospecting. The European interior design book targets interior designers, architects and high-end professional service companies. It also targets high-income consumers who are interested in interior design items.

Oriac Design, a spinoff of German-based design catalog Cairo, set up shop last summer in the United States. Cairo was looking for an opportunity to expand.

"The size of the U.S. market and the economy [were] much better compared to other European countries," Warren Sukernek, president of Oriac Design, Newton, MA, said. "Upon further analysis, there seemed to be a strong demand for these products in the states."

The 100-page, 8 1/2-inch-by-11-inch color catalog has close to 1,000 items and was designed by Bohm Und Nonnen, a German-based design agency. Printing was done in Germany, where Sukernek said costs are 25 percent cheaper than in the United States. Sharing production costs with Cairo provided additional savings.

The cover features 21 photographs of people sitting in Chairik stacking chairs, which have been a popular seller for Cairo and Oriac Design. The cover also features the catalog's Web site, www.oriacdesign.com, and a toll-free number for ordering. The number also appears throughout the book along with the message: "Ordered today. Shipped tomorrow."

Items contained in the catalog include desks, chairs, lamps and sofa beds as well as kitchen and bathroom items. Prices range from $3 for a saucer to $4,980 for a glass table.

Each item has a brief description along with the name of its designer. Some even have small photos of well-known designers. Sukernek said he wanted that element to make the catalog seem more personal.

Information regarding dimensions, color, material, order number and price are separated from the photos of the items and placed in colored charts on every other page.

Sukernek said the high-quality paper used in the catalog's production will ensure that the book will last for a considerable amount of time.

"We felt a book this size would certainly stand out compared to others," he said. "Also, we found -- and hope the same is true here -- that our customers in Germany use the books as reference."

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