It's true, there actually is a day—August 18—set aside to celebrate mail order catalogs, and everything they bring to our lives and businesses. Mail order catalogs rose to prominence in America in the second half of the nineteenth century, as settlers wanted access to goods that weren't available in remote frontier towns. The pioneering "supply houses" shipped everything from clothing and furniture to hardware and tools out west on the railroad. Eventually, mail order businesses began sending entire houses—in kits comprising numbered bricks and planks. If you know what to look for, you can still see many of these kit homes across the United States. Back in those days, you really could order almost anything by mail.
Like most retailers today, at Lands' End Business we're much more focused in our product assortment, but we like to think we're following in the footsteps of the legendary mail order catalogs—including of course our own parent brand, Lands' End, established in 1963. We've been in print for 25 years, publishing our first "Corporate Sales" catalog back in 1993. Here's a quick look back at a few of our covers from the last quarter century, and how our catalogs have evolved.
Our Fall/Winter 1993 catalog showcased some of our legendary products which you can still buy today: mesh polos, button-down dress shirts, Drifter™ sweaters, fleece jackets. and canvas totes. While they have undergone a few tweaks over the years, they remain mainstays of team outfitting for all kinds of businesses—as you can see from the variety of embroidered logos we featured on this cover.
Two years later, we went with an image that cleverly emphasizes how embroidered logos help brands stand out, even on a dreary morning at the local commuter train station:
But we weren't serious all the time. Here's the next catalog from 1995, featuring some of our employees wishing our customers holiday cheer from the embroidery floor at our Dodgeville, Wisconsin headquarters:
Staying with the holiday theme, here's our gifting catalog from 2004. Besides, there's something about putting a dog on a catalog cover that everyone loves. Who wouldn't take this cute canine home?
Sure, this guy needs to get with the program and gear up for the summer picnic. But you have to admit, he looks pretty sharp in a suit:
The second decade of the 21st century brought a bold new look to our catalog, focusing on styles and colors that pop, unify teams and refresh brands:
Which brings us down to 2018, our 25th anniversary, which we commemorated with this handsome close-up shot and specially designed logo on the cover of our Spring/Summer Resource Guide:
Like all our current catalogs, it's available for you to browse online as an e-catalog, just one more way Lands' End Business makes it easier for you to shop for the clothing your team needs. If you're not receiving our print catalogs but would like to, you can subscribe to our mailing list today. We admit we're partial to the feel of crisp paper, the scent of fresh ink and the look of a glossy cover, and we love our catalogs so much we frame them in our office. Besides, from a business standpoint, print is still an important marketing and selling medium. However, while we hope you enjoy browsing our printed pages, we hope that when the time comes to part with them, you drop them in your recycle bin or find some other creative way to give them a new life.