August 18 is Mail Order Catalog Day
August 18 is Mail Order Catalog Day, an annual holiday that celebrates the old-fashioned way of shopping by choosing items from a printed catalog, and ordering and paying for it through the post/ mail or over the telephone.
It is believed that the unofficial holiday commemorates the anniversary of the day in 1872, when American entrepreneur, Aaron Montgomery Ward sent out the first modern mail order catalog to customers in Chicago.
The very first catalog consisted of an 8 by 12 inch single sheet of paper which included the merchandise for sale, the price list and ordering instructions. Montgomery Ward’s single page list of products grew into a 540 page illustrated book selling over 20,000 items.
It was by buying the goods and then reselling them directly to the customers that Aaron Montgomery Ward was consequently removing the middlemen at the general store and to the benefit of the customers was able to drastically lower the prices.
Mail order catalogs or mail order catalogues are a type of direct marketing strategy where companies can communicate directly and personally with the customers. The catalog is a publication, not unlike a magazine, that lists all the items available to buy from a business and their prices.