Lands' End, Liberty Interactive and Amazon.com are some of the most profitable mail order companies in America. The companies market products in different ways but deliver almost all of the sales made to customers by mail. These three mail order giants have succeeded by harnessing television, the Internet, traditional print catalogs or a combination of these mediums.
Lands' End is the oldest of the three companies and grew to become one of the largest clothing suppliers in the world by using the printed catalog format mastered by pioneers of mail order sales, such as Sears, Montgomery Ward and J.C. Penney. The company started producing catalogs to sell yachting accessories in 1963. By the mid 1970s, Lands' End switched its focus to clothing and luggage. By the 2000s, the company became proficient at using online sales to grow its mail order business. However, it has still maintained production of a printed catalog, as of 2015.
Liberty Interactive became a mail order giant using television to make sales. It is the parent company of the cable television shopping channels QVC and HSN. The company has divisions that produce printed catalogs and online stores as well, but the cornerstone of its business is the TV-watching shopper.
Amazon.com has only been in business since 1994. However, in just over two decades, it has grown to be not only the largest mail order company, but one of the largest retailers of any kind by using online-only sales tools.