Thanks to DMNews for the announcement about the end of the Bloomingdales By Mail catalog.
The pundits have been telling you for almost a decade that you must mail these things to be a true multichannel brand. Now, leadership elects to discontinue paper advertising to be "brand-right" and ecologically friendly, mirroring a decision made by Nordstrom in 2005 (a decision also derided by pundits).
All that money spent mailing catalogs becomes an "expense" that can be reallocated to website initiatives. Will the initiatives increase sales?
If you are a true multichannel retail brand (stores, website, phone), it isn't hard to see where this "multichannel thing" is heading. By the way, you'll make very different strategic decisions (keep a catalog vs. discontinue a catalog) using matchback analytics vs. using mail/holdout methodology.