Sunday, November 29, 2009

Can You Cut Your Paper Waste by 25%?

How much do we all spend on catalogues of all shapes, sizes, frequencies? We all receive the full colour catalogues, some pass more the than that glance but many fall into that filing cabinet called the waste bin. The challenge is to get the ‘product’ in front of the customer who may be a trade intermediary or the consumer. Unless they are aware of it they can’t stock or buy it.

The US retailer JCPenney now release that customers increasingly shop online and will stop publishing its twice-yearly "big book" catalogues. Instead they will publish specialty catalogues and focus its efforts online and on social networks. The ‘big catalogue’ has all the usual catalogue issue; a long lead time, out of date information, delivery waste, lack of customer response information and feedback information. They say that sales from the big book peaked about 10 years ago with sales around $4 billion and say at its peak they printed 14 million copies a year and currently this has reduced to 9 million.

Although they will retain some catalogue business the elimination of the catalogues will cut the company's paper use by 25% to 30% percent in 2010.

Thinks about the booktrade, although smaller in its size could it cut its waste by 25% and still remain focused and even improve its communication to intermediaries. Digital catalogues are obvious but still are slow to dominate over those glossy expensive brochures and catalogues that we may not know have even have been opened.

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