Pottery Barn, you need to get a fucking clue as much as you need to find the chill. I've never bought anything from you and never plan to and yet I still receive your catalog at my apartment. What gives? Apparently, there is a reason that retailers continue to send out catalogs, even though no one has bought anything over the phone in about 10 years. According to NPR, US catalog mailings peaked in 2007 and while the number has come down since then, there were still nearly 12 BILLION of them sent out in 2013 in America alone.
Apparently, I'm a little more advanced than the regular consumer because people still love receiving catalogs in the mail. One woman interviewed said that while she still goes online or into the store to purchase something she wants, she gets her ideas from catalogs. And who do you think is at the forefront of this movement? Your mom's favorite fucking store, Williams-Sonoma. The company's CMO believes they're a sourcebook of ideas and, no, he isn't joking. Williams-Sonoma even has a data team devoted to determining customers most receptive to catalogs and tailors them to their purchasing history. And it works.
I have a feeling though that this approach will die out in the coming years as those moms and grandmothers start dying off too (wow, that was morbid). Then, catalogs will become email newsletters that you'll never be able to unsubscribe from, no matter how many times you hit the button.