Charming Shoppes, Inc., the nation’s third-largest specialty retail apparel holding company as measured by store units, primarily focuses on plus-size women’s apparel. With three distinct brands—Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug and Catherines—and more than 2,300 stores nationwide, Charming Shoppes relies on promotional direct mail to drive traffic to their locations for sale events.
Too many (over 40%!) of Charming Shoppes’ direct mail pieces were arriving either before or after their store sale window dates. About 20% arrived days early, causing instore traffic to significantly decrease up to four days before the sale. Even worse, delivery after the sale averaged 22%, wiping out sales goals and creating customer complaints about expired sale coupons.
Diamond Communication Solution used a proven three-step strategy to achieve an average in-home delivery rate of 86% within the preferred window, with most of the remaining 14% delivered outside the window by just one day. Using our Diamond View™ online mailtracking tool, Charming Shoppes management was able to view mail flow, identify problem delivery areas and determine when mail was arriving in their customer’s homes. Charming Shoppes also received a daily Executive Summary Report from Diamond outlining the details of their project delivery.
Over the first six months after the program began, sales increased 14% due to increased store traffic within the sale windows. In addition, coupon expiration complaints decreased significantly during the same time period. Building on this success, Charming Shoppes continues to rely on Diamond Communication Solution as their primary direct mail vendor.