Below is the content of a vintage Hanover catalog from the beginning of the decade of malaise. As far as shoe catalogs content goes, this is the best one I have seen. Instead of just listing shoe models, this catalog has a number of interesting shoe related articles that provide details on how the shoes were manufactured and sold. The photos and descriptions of the shoe models are excellent as well. Just ignore the goofy catalog cover art.
Hanover was once the largest or one of the largest direct shoe sale companies in the United States. Direct shoes sales worked a bit like buying a pair on Amazon but instead of a computer, a human was your interface and the shipping time was weeks instead of days. This direct sales model was still going strong in 1970 but by the end of the decade, suburban malls had killed door to door sales. Why wait weeks for a pair that might fit when instead I could drive to a nearby store with easy parking, lots of stock and the ability to buy the shoes that day? Hanover couldn’t compete with this and in 1978, the company was sold to Clark’s. Clark’s ended direct sales and moved Hanover to a catalog based retail channel. Which, of course, failed as well. Hanover RIP.
Other things to note in the catalog include: exotic leather shoes made in alligator, sharkskin and camel; pairs from Britain; corfam pairs; official NBA basketball shoes (who knew?); a Ripple sole pair; the sweet Dupont Dacron Hanover blazer; and that the Washington state sales tax was once 4.5%. A number of the premium Hanover models used leather from the legendary German Freudenberg tannery. And given the current high prices of Horween Shell Cordovan shoes, it is remarkable to see Hanover selling pairs for $22.95. I assume they were selling them for a profit. But probably not enough profit.