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When is a local Yellow Pages not a local Yellow Pages? When a global gift shopping catalog is part of the directory. Idearc Media has partnered with Shop Yellow, an online and print gift catalog company offering gift items for every occasion from around the world. Starting with editions in Virginia and Pennsylvania, Idearc plans to bind in the new catalog within 500,000 editions of its print Yellow Pages directories and to expand distribution in other markets. 

According to a press release from “The print and online versions of the Shop Yellow catalog offer over 170 original gift ideas from around the world. ‘The most exciting thing about Shop Yellow is the extent and originality of our selection,’ says Matt Jackson, President of Shop Yellow. ‘There are products covering all occasions and tastes, from stylish designer bags to gourmet baked goods — delivered fresh, delicious and ready to eat.” 

What is curious about the offering is that in a truly local directory, the Shop Yellow catalog sends shoppers outside the local community to purchase gift items. The product, while unique to a print directory, seems a contradiction with the potential to upset local gift businesses not featured in the Shop Yellow catalog. I suppose this might in and of itself spur local businesses to contact Idearc to be part of the catalog — which might be the ultimate strategy of enticing more boutique retailers to become advertisers in the directory or local artists’ products to be featured in the catalog. 

The trend of creating unique local marketplace products both in print and online is one that The Kelsey Group’s Peter Krasilovsky continues to follow. As consumers wish to enhance their shopping experience, they are turning more and more to unique vertical products that address their specific shopping needs. While recent product launches by directory companies have focused on Home Improvement & Decorating, Restaurants, and Local Contractors, Idearc’s move into catalog shopping stands out as a new avenue for addressing the unique shopping needs of local buyers.   

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