Mail order has become an important acquisition target for retailers wishing to diversify their channels, or to internationalise their operations. Until very recently however the channel has suffered from a dowdy, down-market image, reflecting the lack of a strong marketing orientation. The arrival of the Next Directory did more than any other U.K. launch to break these streotypes and to change attitudes. There is now an urgent need to examine the full range of consumer motivations that can be satisfied, and to re-examine the market segments that can be reached. Only through this process can mail order be transformed effectively and fully into home shopping.