Spiegel Restructures Approach to Canadian Market

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CHICAGO - Spiegel is changing its approach to the Canadian market and betting the store on a new offering called "On View." Two different versions of the catalog were dropped in February and March with encouraging results.

"After restructuring our operations into business units last year we took a new tack in Canada this spring," spokesperson Allison Scherer said.

"We looked at Canada and saw that we were getting a very positive Canadian customer response to specific merchandise in the catalog we were sending out and that it fitted into a new offering called On View."

She described that catalog as "a distinctive collection of apparel and home furnishings for the woman who appreciates attention to detail, something that speaks to her personal style.

"So that when our customers told us that they had a preference for the different brands in the 'On View' book we mailed it out."

The February mailing, she noted, was more an acquisitions book "where we prospected for new customers."

The 66 page catalog, a selection of goods and brands, priced in US dollars but with a Canadian postal insignia, was sent to previous requesters, "people who had responded to magazine ads and whom we are trying to re-activate."

In March a larger format 166 page book was sent to Spiegel's Canadian house file. Few copy changes were made beyond using the Canadian postal insignia but the array of goods offered was much larger.

On View includes house brands that are exclusive to Spiegel, e.g., Together, an applique and embroidery apparel catalog, and Apart, a stylish sportswear book the features special buttons and colors.

Moda Spiegel, a coordinated contemporary apparel look was also folded into On View as was Blush by Spiegel, a new private apparel line stressing the elegant look.

"In addition to apparel we added 'On View Home,' which features decorated bedrooms, baths, gardening, window treatment and table tops. It's a complete approach and the first time US and Canadian customers can see all those different brands grouped together in one book."

Scherer said that Spiegel is still evaluating results of the earlier drops this year before deciding on dropping more "On View" catalogs into Canada this year.

Customers requesting new books will receive them on an individual basis. No new advertising is planned. Scherer would not reveal the number of catalogs dropped but said it was "comparable to our previous mailings."

She noted that "we launched in Canada in 1996 so that we are beyond testing with our current active file." Spiegel has not rented outside lists because "our repackaging effort is working."

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