Restoration Hardware’s 616-Page Tome
While many retailers are scaling back or outright ditching their direct mail offerings, Restoration Hardware recently sent out its largest-ever catalog — weighing in at three-pounds across 616 pages.
In a press release Restoration Hardware stated the catalog "showcases the most complete expression of the brand to date. Underscoring this are original editorial profiles — by independent journalists and celebrated photographers — that share the stories of a select group of internationally-recognized designers and craftsmen who bring unmatched passion and artistry to the company’s latest designs."
Editorials include profiles on Jefferson Mack, who handcrafts hardware, fireplace tools, and home accessories using traditional blacksmithing techniques; Ben Soleimani, a famed designer of luxury rugs; Timothy Oulton; a London antiques dealer and furniture reproductionist; and Raymond Libeert, CEO of Libeco-Lagae, one of the largest linen weaving companies in Europe. The resource guide, located in the back of the book with product grouped by category, presents 88 pages of lighting, 50 pages of furniture and 72 pages of rugs.
Restoration Hardware noted that its Fall 2011 Source Book is available digitally and via the Restoration Hardware iPad App. It also noted that its printed copies are meant for a long shelf life. "We ask that you hang on to it, as we do our part to support conservation and won’t be sending you another one until next spring," said chairman and co-CEO Gary Friedman.
An article in the September issue of Stores Magazine noted how catalogs are being reinvented though digital technologies, particularly tablets, and that’s enhancing their use as a brand-building tool. For instance, IKEA’s 376-page 2012 catalog comes with an iPad app featuring videos accentuating the images on the pages as well as a related microsite with blogs and consumer-submitted photos and design ideas.
Many retailers now feature catalogs on aggregator apps. The four leaders in the space are Coffee Table, Catalogs.com, Catalog Spree, and Catalogue from TheFind. Google in late August unveiled an iPad app dubbed Google Catalogs, which likewise enables consumers to shop a wide array of digital catalogs. Among the 50 catalogs on Google’s app are Anthropologie, Blue Nile, Crate & Barrel, L.L. Bean, Patagonia, Pottery Barn, Sephora and Williams-Sonoma.
But the Stores article also pointed to the arrival of Restoration Hardware’s print catalog as a viable option to draw attention and tell stories.
"I believe catalogs will always have a unique and effective role," Catalogs.com co-founder Richard Linevsky, told Stores. "They’re like other specific advertising mediums. Why do we still have billboards? Because people are still driving.
- Restoration Hardware Fall Catalog (digital)
- Restoration Hardware Unveils an Entirely New 600+ Page Publication – Restoration Hardware/MarketWatch
- Restoration Hardware’s 616-page fall catalog lands with a thud – Bizmology
- Restoration Hardware’s Wasteful Spending Is Now My New Coffee Table Book – 1to1 Media
- Google jumps into mobile catalogs – Internet Retailer
- Let your customers’ fingers do the shopping – Stores Magazine
Discussion Questions: Is there still a market for statement catalogs such as the one published by Restoration Hardware? Do you see digital technologies enhancing the value of print catalogs or replacing them?