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Perfectly Grand Expands Its Repertoire

Perfectly Grand is attempting to entice customers into becoming repeat buyers with the expansion of its catalog offerings from exclusively piano accessories to include gifts and other items for the music and dance enthusiast.

The company dropped 200,000 copies of its Perfectly Grand Fall/Holiday 2000 catalog this fall, using its own database of customers as well as rented lists. The catalog is building its house database and is considering an increase in its drop rate from three to four times annually.

Production costs for the fall/holiday campaign were more than $100,000 — about 55 cents per piece, including postage. However, the average order for the recently dropped catalog is $110 so far, down from the $155 average order produced by previous catalogs.

Charles Flaum, president of Perfectly Grand, Highland Mills, NY, said the decrease in average order size may stem from competition with other music books that feature similar items, but he insisted that customers are still purchasing high-ticketed items.

While Flaum would not reveal total sales figures, he said catalog sales have exceeded the amount spent on the campaign. He noted that the uncertainty surrounding the presidential election impacted his bottom line.

“I don't how much it was, but we lost a sizable amount of money because of the delay,” Flaum said. “That really stalled things for everyone in the industry. All the attention was on who is the next president, and people just weren't placing orders because their minds were elsewhere.”

However, orders did start to increase immediately after Thanksgiving, which came well before Al Gore conceded the election to George W. Bush.

The catalog was created in 1995. Before the most recent drop, it primarily featured piano accessories and items such as singing software, benches, lamps, metronomes, piano covers, humidifiers and instructional books. The fall/holiday 2000 book offers consumers a mixture of tapestry, instruments and clothing. Items range from a $16.95 business card display in the shape of a music stand to music notation software for $599. Flaum said he wanted the catalog to depict a “musical museum store” theme.

In addition to the new items, the cataloger made a slight name change from the original Perfectly Grand Piano Accessories to the current title. The name change better reflects what the catalog offers — a mix of gift items and piano accessories for singers, musicians and dance lovers — and is an attempt to reach a broader audience, Flaum said.

“We were a very tiny niche-oriented company, and we wanted to expand from that,” he said. “Last year, we decided we needed to go in a new direction and reach a larger audience. We felt that if we didn't change the name, it wouldn't help us show what it is we offer.”

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