Annual Report 2005
Delivering the Goods
Selections from Colonial Williamsburg's fabric collection line the walls of the Design Studio at WILLIAMSBURG At Home which turned in a strong performance during its first full year of operation in the College Corner Building on Merchants Square.
THE PRODUCTS DIVISION delivered record results through marketing high-quality, Williamsburg-inspired merchandise, extending the WILLIAMSBURG brand, and enhancing the guest experience.
Direct marketing (which includes catalog and web sales) revenue grew 8 percent from 2004, led by e-commerce, which grew by 38 percent. Record volume and revenue were achieved during the busy holiday direct-marketing season.
Design Studio revenue increased 70 percent over 2004. A new costume rental location opened in April at the Visitor Center, and by year's end the costume rental business was up 125 percent. The consolidated Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum shops ended the year 37 percent above 2004.
Licensing agreements were signed with Obeetee, Foreside, Artland, Earth Elements, and Vista Alegre and a fresh-flower program was launched with Teleflora.
A new public relations firm helped develop a strategic communications plan that delivered media coverage, as well as a New York City product launch and press event. In addition, the division strengthened trade show visual merchandising, created trade advertising, and delivered cross-marketing campaigns with licensing partners.
The division established templates for local and regional advertising, created synergy between catalog, web, and retail messages, and tested direct mail in support of specific stores. It also introduced sweepstakes and special events and supported local and regional business with newpaper advertising.
Manager of visual merchandising Owen Sharman (right) talks with guests during the New York introduction of the 2006 WILLIAMSBURG Home Collection at the Central Park Boathouse. The September event included media representatives, guests, and Colonial Williamsburg licensees.
A guest inspects a selection of fine rugs during the New York event. Themed "The Age of Exploration," the event included a dramatic image of three sailing vessels that was taken from a historic map in the Foundation's collections and a series of oversized nautical graphics and boat docks that set the scene and served as a backdrop to the products.