Tween Brands get big buys with mini catazine

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Catalogs are not only a good way to drive customers to a Web site; they also send lots of shoppers to retail outlets.

This is what Tween Brands Inc. discovered when it tested replacing a postcard campaign to its best customers for its Limited Too and Justice brands with mini catazines that included a coupon good for in-store purchases.

"Our analysis showed that the visual impact of a mini catazine was a lot more productive and drove more sales to stores than the postcard," said Robert Atkinson, spokesman for Tween Brands.

The postcard also typically included a coupon.

The mini books, which measure 5.5 by 8 inches and number 22 pages, will supplement the company's regular catazine mailings. The full-size books measure 8.5 inches by 11 inches and typically contain 54 pages.

The first mini catazine dropped before Memorial Day weekend for Justice, which focuses more on basics compared to the fashion-forward styles found at Limited Too and is slightly lower priced. The book highlighted a special sale in Justice stores that weekend and included a coupon for 15 percent off any in-store purchases, including sale items.

The premiere Limited Too mini catazine dropped the first week of June and pushed the latest fashion items available in the stores, such as leggings, baby-doll tops and patchwork plaid shorts. Inside was a coupon good for 20 percent off any in-store purchase.

The strategy was tested in select markets and, based on the results, is currently being rolled out nationally. Tween Brands plans to mail three mini catazines for Limited Too in 2007 and two for Justice to its list of "best of the best" customers, Mr. Atkinson said. Mailings for the brands' regular-size catazines, which also typically include a coupon good for in-store purchases, will remain unchanged from last year.

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