April 05, 2008

The J. Peterman Catalog ... And Blog

Many of you were exposed to the J. Peterman Catalog through the trials and tribulations of the J. Peterman character on Seinfeld, played by John O'Hurley.

Others may have actually purchased from the old catalog, or J. Peterman retail stores. The Peterman empire grew to $75 million in annual sales in the late 1990s, before crumbling under the simultaneous pressures of growth, multichannel retail expansion, and inventory management (multichannel CEOs should seriously read this article ... now!).

A unique series of events led to John O'Hurley assisting J. Peterman in the re-acquisition of the brand name.

Today, the J. Peterman brand lives via multiple channels.
J. Peterman also has a social media channel, hosting several unique blogs under the umbrella name Peterman's Eye.
If you want to follow along, here's a link to the Peterman's Eye RSS Subscription.

If there is one catalog brand that could benefit from the inclusion of social media as a channel, it should be J. Peterman. The blog illustrates ways in which catalogers differentiate themselves from online pureplays or big box retailers. One sees creativity and imagination in the articles. In a sense, the blogs help position Peterman as a media company / multichannel brand, not just a catalog brand.