Frontgate Produces Front-Runner in ParadyszMatera List Growth Report

After just over one year on the list market and less than two years in the mail, Frontgate's newest catalog, Grandin Road, beat out some other rapidly growing files to reach the No. 1 position in the home category of ParadyszMatera's list universe ranking for the third quarter of 2004.

List brokerage ParadyszMatera maintains a database of 12-month (or best available) list universe counts on 76,000 properties through its research division. The firm ranks the top 40 catalogs by the largest percentage increase each quarter in the home as well as the general merchandise and apparel categories. It does top-five rankings in other categories, such as gifts/collectibles. ParadyszMatera generates its MarketTrends consumer catalog reports quarterly through its proprietary MarketRelevance direct mail promotion and media tracking tool.

Grandin Road is a home décor catalog featuring furniture, tableware, decorative rugs, decorative items, storage solutions, pet goods and other products for the home. Frontgate mailed the first Grandin Road catalog in March 2003, and the list went on the market with 10,985 names in July 2003. At the end of third-quarter 2004, the file had grown to 117,682 last-12-month buyers, a 370.4 percent increase from 25,016 names in third-quarter 2003.

“The file has steadily grown since we began managing it and is getting diverse usage,” said Grandin Road list manager Monique Braban, vice president of business, professional and consumer list management at NRL Direct, Cresskill, NJ.

Types of mailers that tested and continue to use the list include apparel/accessories, food/wine, general merchandise, gift and home products/furnishings. Users of the Frontgate file also have had success with Grandin Road, she said.

Buyers on the Grandin Road file are 60 percent female with a median age of 42 and median household income of $85,000. The average unit of sale is $150.

The largest overall file in the home category for the quarter was Pottery Barn, with more than 1.5 million names. Though the title did not even rank in the top 30 last quarter, the consolidation of its direct mail names and Internet-sourced names at postal address into one file increased the last-12-month universe by 768,000 names, according to ParadyszMatera's report.

The other Williams-Sonoma lists also gained names from the combining of files. The company's namesake title added 543,000 names, bringing it to more than 1 million. Pottery Barn Teen added 121,000 names, but did not crack ParadyszMatera's top 30.

The addition of 50,000 names to the West Elm file propelled it into the No. 2 spot in the home category with 138.9 percent growth for the third quarter over the year-ago period, reaching 118,398 names.

As in the previous two quarters, the largest list universe growth in the apparel category was Kenneth Cole New York, with a 339.2 percent increase for the third quarter, rising from 12,525 in the year-ago period to 55,012 names. Mokrynski & Associates, Hackensack, NJ, manages the file.

The largest overall list in apparel was Eddie Bauer with more than 2 million last-12-month catalog buyers.

In the gifts and collectibles category, Eden Lane stayed in the No. 1 slot with a 162.1 percent gain to 96,385, up from 36,773 in third-quarter 2003.

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