Sure Fit Moves Beyond Slipcovers With Rebranding Effort

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Sure Fit Inc. has begun a rebranding campaign to let customers know that slipcovers are only part of its product mix.


"Sure Fit is transforming itself from a ready-made slipcover manufacturer to more of a decorating company," said Liz Mandracchia, senior vice president of marketing and brand development at Sure Fit, New York, a direct marketer of slipcovers and home furnishings. "We will always be rooted in slipcovers, but we want to offer more products for consumers to complete their look in home decorating."


The makeover includes print ads as well as changes to its Web site and catalog. The effort began Jan. 5 with the drop of the spring 2004 Sure Fit Slipcovers catalog. The redesigned Web site at surefit.com, with new logos and fonts, debuted Jan. 6.


"The spring 2004 book will have more window treatments, which we introduced in September, and, for the first time, rugs that complement our slipcover look will be available," she said. "The bedding category will have more of a presence. It was also introduced in September. We're also offering more decorative pillows to complement the bedding as well as the slipcover products."


Consumers' requests for bedding and window treatments that coordinate with the company's slipcovers were cited as the reason for the change.


"A lot of people decorate around their couch, with the couch as the anchor of the room," Mandracchia said.


The company's most recent projection for 2003 sales was $160 million. Projected sales for 2004 are $200 million.


"We are counting on the change and the additional products, styles and sizes to raise response rates by about 30 percent in our direct business this year," she said. "The response rates range between 2 and 3 percent, depending on the vehicle."


The catalog's SKU total has increased 25 percent for the new book versus a year ago. Page count is 64, up from 48 last spring. Circulation for the spring book is up from about 4 million in 2003 to 5.4 million for the new catalog.


The target audience was described as female, ages 25-54, with average annual household income of $60,000-plus.


"We don't do traditional list acquisition," Mandracchia said. "We generate prospects through advertising in print, TV and affiliate Web programs."


The new catalog includes before-and-after spreads that are known as One Day Makeovers.


"Women need ideas, resources and help, and the idea was to give them inspiration in how to decorate," she said. "We also have spreads called 'Get the Look.' [They] ... break down all the merchandise you would need to buy, with an item-by-item description."


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