Abstract Although mail order accounts for a fairly similar percent of retail sales in both the United States and United Kingdom, the evolution and development of mail order is different in each market. This poses a varied set of challenges for companies in light of the changing marketing environment of the 1990s. This study will show how the U.S. market has become highly fragmented and how mail order companies have gained competitive advantage through positioning their offerings at better quality and higher pricing points. Conversely, mail order direct marketing in the United Kingdom continues to be dominated by a small number of large companies promoting “big book” catalogues at the mass market of lower to middle socioeconomic groups. Interestingly, growth segments in the U.K. market are beginning to follow a course similar to that observed in the United States with the development of “specialogues” by well-known store retailers and U.S. entrants such as Talbot's, Land's End, and L. L. Bean.