Clothing catalogues have been around since 1872, when founder Aaron Montgomery Ward established the first catalogue to sell goods directly to customers through the mail instead of going through a salesman. The catalogue provides a guide of the latest fashion trends that customers can order from their homes. In addition to the Internet, which provides a more interactive experience for customers to order apparel online, retailers still rely on printed catalogues to help expand their businesses.
L.L. Bean (llbean.com) is a family-owned company for outdoor apparel and equipment. The retailer's direct sales division produces more than 50 catalogue titles, which were distributed to customers domestically and internationally. L.L. Bean catalogues include separate apparel guides for women, men and kids, as well as home fashions and fishing and hunting gear.
Lands' End's (landsend.com) first store was opened in 1963 by Gary Comer, a former copywriter who based his store on his passion of sailboat racing. The clothing has a classic style for women, men and children. Lands' End has many different catalogues for various markets, including women, men, kids, home and plus-size customers. The retailer also has special catalogues, including swimwear, outerwear and Christmas issues.
Spiegel (spiegel.com) is a fashion and furniture retailer that sells brand-name fashion, shoes, home accessories and jewellery for women. The store mailed its first catalogue to homes in 1905 and was the first catalogue to present European trends to the U.S. Spiegel's direct mailing division includes eMagazines -- interactive online magazines where customers can click on an item and place an order. Spiegel's eMagazines include Swim + Travel and Shape FX.
Victoria's Secret (victoriassecret.com) was established in San Francisco in the 1970s by Roy Raymond. In 1982, Raymond sold his catalogue operation and stores to Limited Brands. Victoria's Secret has expanded its business in direct sales, which distributes seasonal and special occasion catalogues to women, directly selling lingerie, swimsuits, women's apparel and cosmetics.
J. Crew (jcrew.com) was first established as a direct mail business back in 1983 and opened its first store in New York City six years later. J. Crew has expanded its retail and outlet stores to various markets, including clothing for women, men and children, shoes, handbags, jewellery and wedding apparel.
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