YOU’LL HARDLY RECOGNIZE the new mail-order catalogues as the books that brought calico dresses and two-dollar shoes to generations of farm families. They’re adopting a new look, with mink and gold lamé in country-club price brackets. What’s more, they’re coming in off the farm to the suburbs, which have become the biggest and richest market.
The big fall and winter catalogues —notably Eaton’s and Simpsons-Sears —will pitch primarily at suburban families with a higher-priced assortment of goods and wares.
Far from letting down on the do-ityourself craze, the new catalogues will push it harder than ever. Eaton's has coin collectors’ kits, put-them-on-yourself aluminum storms and screens, power tools and hi-fi equipment that you
assemble in the basement. For well-todo suburbanites Simpsons-Sears shows transistor radios through a wide range of prices, cameras at $199.50 and record players with hi-fi speakers that set you back up to $1,000.
Many of these tidbits are designed to lure the ladies; not so items in Canadian Tire Corporation’s catalogue. CTC calls itself "the last stronghold of the male shopper” and goes after 1,300,000 Canadian men with gadgets galore.
Both Eaton’s and Simpson’s claim to publish the biggest catalogue (there’s not much difference in size or weight). Henry Birks and Sons makes no claims, but probably has the most expensive wares: sapphire bracelet, brooch and earrings. $20,000; diamond bracelet, $15,000. Strictly not for the farm! —
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