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Hey, Restoration Hardware, You Broke My Mailbox

What's with a catalog that weighs more than 5 pounds in an era of waste reduction?

My mailbox is a goner. A five-pound Restoration Hardware catalog took it out last week, and my question is why.

Why does a company need a 992-page printed catalog to show customers every light fixture and faucet it sells in the Internet era? Why does it need to give the postal service workers of America back injuries to deliver tomes heavier than phone books when most will end up in the recycling bin, or worse, the garbage?

A very long time ago — this was the 90s — I used to covet the furniture and rugs I saw in Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware. I wanted to move into the catalogs and light the perfectly coordinated candles on the perfectly adorned tables in some dreamlike version of a holiday that never included any people.

Restoration Hardware painted its showrooms in a particular shade of sage green that was all the rage back then. I thought they got me when they sold great nostalgic stocking stuffers like the original Slinky and Yo-Yo.

But a few years ago, they redesigned their stores and turned the lights so low that I can't even make out the furniture anymore. And now they're assasinating mailboxes with a catalog that's supposed to show the store's "lifestyle."

Could a corporation be more out of touch with the American public? We don't crave $800 lamps anymore, we just want to put our kids through college.

We don't want five pounds of paper stuffed into our mailboxes when we could look up anything at all on a cell phone. Trees are more important than a "lifestyle" any day.

We don't need perfectly coordinated candles and perfectly adorned tables. We just need our families to be healthy and employed.

Sorry, Restoration Hardware. It's a bad move to knock out the mailboxes of the very customers you're hoping to attract. You might want to rethink the five-pound catalog and put your money into better lighting in your own stores.

And, by the way, you owe me a mailbox.

donna September 22, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Last year I received TWO of these behemoth books of nothing. I was so aggravated I took mine back to the store and told them to take me off their mailing list. Or course, I got another one this year..at least it was only one. I suggest everyone that doesn't want it, take it back to west farms. They'll get the idea after a while.
Patrice Fitzgerald September 22, 2012 at 01:39 PM
I so agree! I got the same bloated catalog and was amazed and dismayed. So far I haven't even opened the thing... but probably will before I toss it. My major concern now is to find a place to recycle all that paper. Of course, this same argument goes for books that can just as easily (and more cheaply and quickly) be created electronically rather than by felling and processing dead trees.
Jean Festa September 22, 2012 at 02:02 PM
I agree 100%. I stopped shopping there when they did their "re-do" with ridiculous prices as well as products. I actually sent a letter to them after receiving the recent catalog requesting to not have this wasteful thing sent anymore. Especially since I don't shop there anymore! Who knows if it will work.
Lori September 22, 2012 at 03:37 PM
There is a website where you can actually opt out of catalogs that you don't want. www.catalogchoice.org I have successfully used it to opt off of mailing lists for companies like American Doll (I have 3 sons-no daughters). They actually have agreements with the catalog companies on their site, so when a customer opts out, they actually stop sending the catalog. It is cheaper/easier & less gas than driving your tome back to Westfarms (or your local mall) and the company will certainly get the message (and I'm sure statistics) when you opt out electronically. You can cancel any other catalogs you don't want there as well!
C. Noujaim September 23, 2012 at 12:45 AM
I wonder if it has something to do with the Post Office's recent woes. I read (or heard) that the Post Office is apparently trying to generate MORE junque mail because it is going broke.

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