Catalog Choice – A Benefit for Retailers?

Do you know Catalog Choice?

It’s a website that allows consumers to opt out of catalogs from retailers.  That’s right.  They actually work to stop retailers from mailing their catalogs to people who don’t want to receive them.  What a concept.

The great news is that nearly a million people have signed up, opting to cut down their junk mail and more importantly, send a signal to retailers that they are wasting the planet’s natural resources by sending out the catalogs to people who don’t want them anyway.

You can read a great article about Catalog Choice in DMNews.


The customer is always right.  Give the people what they want.  Build it and they will come.

It doesn’t matter how you sum up Catalog Choice, the fact is that people love it.  And it continues to grow.  And the retailers that take part gain credibility as being environmentally conscious and in tune with their customers, or potential customers’ needs.

I know I opted out of Hammacher Schlemmer six months ago and just yesterday, I received a catalog.  Do I think poorly of Catalog Choice for not being able to strike a deal?  Nope.  I think poorly of Hammacher Schlemmer who isn’t listening to me, who isn’t concerned about wasting resources, who is too self-centered to realize that they are having a negative impact on my perceptions of their company.

Some retailers are still fighting the service and it appears the Direct Marketing Association is anti-Catalog Choice.  They say they’ve offered an opt-out option for 30+ years.  But people are skeptical about the DMA.  They prefer an independent middle-man who is trustworthy.

All I know is the halo effect around retailers such as Grandin Road, and Relax the Back is heightened due to their desire to listen to their customers by not sending catalogs when customers don’t want them.  Hmmm.  Listening to what customers want and need.  That’s a concept every retailer can learn from.