I read this brilliant article recently by John R. MacArthur regarding The Catalog Factor, a theory detailing why investors should buy newspaper stocks and disregard all of the menacing rumors predicting the imminent death of newspapers.
Newspapers have two functions. To report the news and like any other business, to turn a profit. It's no secret that newspapers and magazines acquire a large majority of their profits through advertising. Circulation helps, but it's the ads that bring home the bank.
In a sea of World Wide Web advertising trends, it is Mr. MacArthur's prediction that printed publications will indeed survive and thrive, not only because people would prefer reading their news on tactile paper rather than a computer screen, but due to 'the “unavoidability factor” — that no one, no matter how tech- and screen-oriented, can avoid the advertising printed on paper, at least not without unusual effort.'
It made me reflect on our business here at Catalogs.com and the catalog industry as a whole. Some retailers may feel that catalogs are becoming obsolete because of the spikes in online shopping, but it is proven that once consumers have picked up their mail, even the most internet obsessed folks will still flip through and scan their catalogs and junk mail, searching for anything that will stand out and grab their attention. Once they find that special something, those catalogs will no doubt be placed in a keep pile with favorite items circled and eventually purchased.
MacArthur goes on to state that trying to replace catalogs with the World Wide Web just doesn't work. Customers may order online, but most of them are responding to a mailing or an ad found - that's right- in catalogs and newspapers.
Good news for us, and for catalog shoppers everywhere. So never fear, catalogs are here to stay.