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Magellan's Begins Catalog Run

Magellan's dropped 300,000 summer catalogs on April 23, marking the first of seven mailings of the same approximate size that the travel supplies/apparel retailer plans to send every two weeks this spring and summer. The 68-page, full-color catalog will be sent to a total of 2.2 million households by August, when the retailer will begin mailing its fall book.

The mailings are being staggered rather than dropped all at once to avoid unmanageable order traffic at Magellan's distribution warehouse and call center located near its headquarters in Santa Barbara, CA.

The demographic group being targeted ranges from 35 to 75 years old, consists of upper-income international travelers and is slightly skewed toward women. Models used in the book's product photos give the appearance of being older than or close to age 40.

The front cover features a photograph of a garden in Varenna, Italy, that overlooks the country's Lake Como. Later mailings will use that cover along with two others. One will depict palm trees and an ocean view on the tropical island of Mauritius, while the other will feature a photo of Amristar, Punjab, India, and the city's golden temple.

Balint & Reinecke, Santa Barbara, did the graphic design for the catalogs, while Magellan's founder John McManus wrote the copy.

More than 40 products are being debuted. They include Magellan's latest luggage line, additional women's garments and new products from travel gear retailer Eagle Creek, Vista, CA, which has been a supplier for the catalog in the past.

The catalog's offerings range from luggage locks for less than $10 to travel apparel up to $189. The average order size for past Magellan's catalogs is $95, said Jack Kotowski, marketing manager at the company.

Kotowski would not divulge past response rates; the cost of designing, printing and mailing the catalog; or any particular market testing being done.

The company's e-commerce site, www.magellans.com, is mentioned at the bottom of every page. Kotowski said it is the site's most significant placement to date in the 12-year-old catalog. He said his company gets 25 percent of its business online.

“The catalog and the Web site have become so intertwined,” Kotowski said. “The catalog is still the engine that drives everything, but we'd like to increase Web sales because the Internet gives you great reach and low costs when compared to printing X million number of catalogs.”

While not giving specifics, he indicated that his firm may expand its target audience to include people in their 20s and early 30s with its fall catalog.

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