The future may hold far fewer and radically redesigned stores, analysts say.
And now for something completely different
The business plan at most catalog companies calls for generating revenues by operating a Web store. But Weehawken, N.J.-based Hanover Direct Inc. is pursuing a different Internet strategy.
Hanover, which has annual revenues of $540 million and publishes 242 million catalogs each year, is using its direct marketing and individual order fulfillment expertise to build an outsourcing business. Since mid-April, Hanover has been peddling its services, which include credit card processing, database management, marketing or merchandising consulting, systems integration and Web site management to big Web retailers who lack the expertise or wherewithal to do it themselves. It’s targeting companies with annual sales of at least $500 million.
“There are good opportunities in e-commerce to build a third-party services business,” explains Richard M. Metzler, president, Keystone Fulfillment Inc., Hanover’s third-party service company.