Online Only Catalogs Nearly Double

There were 1,463 online catalogs introduced last year, according to the 2006 edition of The National Directory of Catalogs, which was released last week.

Online catalogs make up 78 percent of the 11,438 catalog listings in the directory for a total of 8,903. Last year, they accounted for 60 percent of the total. Plus, this year 1,320 are available only in an online format, which is almost double the 772 online-only catalogs in last year's edition.

“While online catalogs are on the rise, marketers continue to find print catalogs a powerful tool for driving customers to their Web sites; and some catalogs that began online have added print versions, such as 'RugsUSA,' ” The National Directory of Catalogs editorial director Deborah Striplin said in a statement. “In addition, there is a rise in 'magalogs,' or catalogs that contain editorial content, such as 'Outdoor Republic' and 'Pulse,' ” she said.

Of the 225 subject categories in this year's directory, the Books & Book Trade category has the most listings with 1,008 catalogs. Other popular categories include: Apparel & Accessories with 750 catalogs, Automotive with 542, Education with 513, Gardening & Horticulture with 434 and Gifts & Greeting Cards with 307.

The three categories showing the strongest growth over the past 10 years are Automotive, which went from 270 entries to 542; Education, which went from 334 to 513 and Apparel & Accessories, which went from 677 to 750 entries. During the same time period, the number of Computers & Automation catalogs decreased from 561 to 240.

Chantal Todé covers catalog and retail news and BTB marketing for DM News and DM 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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