Swedish furniture giant Ikea said it would stop printing its famous annual catalog on Monday, ending a seven-decade tradition as customers move to digital options.
The catalog offered a snapshot on contemporary life that made them quite popular when they reached the peak in 2016, when 200 million copies were distributed worldwide in 32 different languages.
But with fewer people reading printed catalogs as online shopping, the retailer said it decided to respectfully end the successful career of the IKEA catalog.
Konrad Gruss, managing director of Inter Idea, said, “After 70 years of legacy, we have decided to turn the page and say: No, we will not allow the list to move forward nor will we create a digital version.” System, told AFP.
Gruss called it “an emotional but very rational decision”, as he noted a “big change in customer behavior”, with customers now also choosing to “interact on the web, in apps and social media”.
A digital edition version of the catalog was launched in 2000, but it will also not be renewed.
According to IKEA, the very first catalog was put together by Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad himself in 1951, and it was printed in 285,000 copies, distributed around the southern part of Sweden where the company also started.
While negotiations about the future of the catalog had been going on for the past four years, Gruss said that the final decision was taken in the last few months as the 2022 edition was under discussion.
He said that if the decision is no longer taken in 2022 or 2023, and even if it was not caused by the Kovid-19 pandemic, the arrival of the virus is “probably accelerating the decision.”
‘Among the biggest’
Even though the catalog would not have a digital replacement, Gruss insisted that dropping it was “not a cost-saving exercise.”
“We’re not used to production (of the catalog) we will reinvest in other media,” Gruss said, while saying how much the catalog cost.
“What we can say is that catalogs have traditionally been a big part of our marketing spending,” Gras said.
In terms of the total number of frequently quoted copies with the Bible, Quran and Harry Potter books, Gruss said he was unsure whether the list ever claimed the top spot.
“I can’t say that with proof but I can say that we’ve been one of the biggest people for at least the longest,” Gruss said.
The final printed catalog was the 2021 edition which shipped this summer.
Forty million copies were made.
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