QuikPak Promises to Deliver

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Delivery with the speed of Priority Mail without the hefty price tag is what catalog delivery company QuikPak Inc., Lafayette, IN, is offering catalogers with the launch of its newest service -- First Priority.

QuikPak president Ed Farrer hopes First Priority will resolve an annual dilemma facing catalogers bombarded with last-minute holiday requests. The company is promising delivery of catalogs within two to three days during the peak holiday shopping season. This service could boost catalogers' holiday sales.

QuikPak, which tested First Priority on a handful of clients last year, is touting the service as the "fastest in-hand delivery at a low cost." Catalogers could save from 6 percent to 70 percent in postal costs, Farrer said.

"As it gets closer and closer to Christmas, there's a crunch time where you want to get your catalog requests out quickly into [a prospect's] hands," Farrer said. "This is where First Priority will be helpful. We can do all the things we need to do to support the service if we set a minimum amount to be mailed."

The service is for catalogs weighing between 2 ounces and 8 ounces and is available only to catalogers mailing 100 pieces a day. QuikPak is attempting to compete with Priority Mail, which charges $3.20 for any weight up to 2 pounds, Farrer said. A catalog that weighs 4 ounces could cost $1.59 to deliver with QuikPak, he said.

"If you can get a catalog within a week [after the request], the chances that you'll order [are] two to three times greater'' than if a catalog comes weeks later, said Bill Dean, president of marketing research firm W.A. Dean & Associates, San Francisco. "If a catalog drifts in three to six weeks after the request, chances are you may not be interested anymore. You've already made a purchase or you forgot you've requested a catalog."

QuikPak operates a processing center in Indianapolis, where Eagle Hub -- the national air distribution center for the U.S. Postal Service -- is located. The company deals primarily with the postal service for mail delivery. However, it has partnerships with other services, including Airborne Express and Federal Express.

The company anticipates filling 200,000 orders per day during the height of the holiday shopping season. QuikPak currently handles about 150,000 daily requests. The majority of its clients are business-to-consumer companies, which make up 70 percent of QuikPak's customers.

"It's a real compelling service offer for a short period of the year," Farrer said. "When you have people on the other end motivated to buy, you want to get that catalog in their hands as quickly as possible."

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