New QVC Catalog Is a Beauty

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Catalog sales can be a pretty sight, something home shopping network QVC understood when it decided to launch QVC Beauty, a catalog that highlights the many beauty items sold by the network.

A beauty catalog made sense because on-air sales for the category continue to grow, said Mark Stieber, vice president of marketing at QVC.

"We have almost every major brand on QVC, so we knew we could create a really nice catalog," he said.

About 500,000 copies of the book mailed this month.

This isn't the first time the home shopping channel has tried to extend its reach onto the printed page. In the late '90s, it experimented with several general merchandise catalogs but found they "didn't work too well," Stieber said. It was a different story, however, three years ago when QVC began a more specialized gourmet food catalog.

"We had some great success with that, and it led us to believe we might have some success with other categories," Stieber said.

The gourmet food catalog's circulation has grown yearly since its launch. The most recent issue mailed this month to 575,000 names.

The new beauty catalog was scheduled for in-home delivery the week after Labor Day.

"We strategically placed delivery a couple of weeks before our fall Day of Beauty," Stieber said, referencing a Sept. 17 on-air event that features a full 24 hours of beauty products.

In addition to being promoted on the cover of the new catalog, the Day of Beauty is being touted during QVC programming, in a TV commercial and in a print ad in TV Guide. This event, popular with viewers, is repeated once or twice yearly, Stieber said. The catalog is positioned to preview the event.

The 32-page catalog mailed to an in-house list of people who have purchased at least one beauty product from QVC in the past 12 months, Stieber said. QVC's beauty customer is slightly younger than the network's traditional customer, tending to be in her 40s, with a high income and high education level.

A smaller version of the catalog is being made available to other direct marketing companies to insert into their outbound packages. The company also is considering inserting a smaller version of future issues in beauty magazine Allure.

The catalog features 166 items and nearly every major brand offered by QVC. Thirty items are new to QVC this fall while others are proprietary or exclusive brands. The lineup includes well-known brands such as Philosophy, Prescriptives, Stila, L'Occitane and Guerlain as well as lines created by hair stylists and dermatologists. Categories covered by the catalog include perfumes, skin care, hair care, nail care, makeup and makeup brushes. Prices range from $15 for a mascara to $150 for an anti-aging kit.

If the beauty catalog does well, QVC plans to repeat the strategy next spring. If it continues to test well, QVC will publish the catalog two or three times a year.

Christine Blank covers online marketing and advertising, including e-mail marketing and paid search, for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting

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