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IKEA kills the catalogue

 7 December 2020     HGO Staff 

BURLINGTON, Ontario – After 70 years, the IKEA catalogue will be discontinued, the world’s largest home furnishings retailer has announced.

In a statement, Inter IKEA Systems B.V., the worldwide IKEA franchisor, said that it was first published in 1951, the annual tome has become an iconic and beloved publication, helping the retailer reach and inspire people across the world with home furnishing solutions and products.

But times are changing. IKEA is transforming its business model to become more accessible and digital, while embracing new ways to connect with people. Customer behavior and media consumption have changed, and the IKEA catalogue has been less used.

After 70 years, IKEA has decided to discontinue publishing its now iconic catalogue.“For both customers and co-workers, the IKEA catalogue is a publication that brings a lot of emotions, memories and joy. For 70 years it has been one of our most unique and iconic products, inspiring billions of people across the world. Turning the page with our beloved catalogue is a natural process since media consumption and customer behaviors have evolved. Looking forward, we will find new ways to engage and inspire the many people with our home furnishing solutions,” Konrad Grüss, managing director of Inter IKEA Systems B.V. said in announcing the decision.

Over the past few years, Grüss noted IKEA has tested new formats and ways to distribute the catalogue’s content. A wealth of knowledge and insights, from both customers and IKEA retailers globally, have informed the decision, showing new opportunities to help people meet their needs and dreams at home.

“We are not starting from scratch. We have been transforming how we reach and interact with our customers, and the work continues to find new ways to amplify our unique home furnishing knowledge, products and solutions in the best possible way. We want to inspire the many people through new ways, channels and formats,” Grüss said.

The decision to say goodbye to the IKEA Catalogue goes hand-in-hand with the retailer’s ongoing transformation. Last year, IKEA Canada online retail sales increased by 41.9%, welcomed more than 178.5 million visitors – and at the same time, the retailer has enhanced digital services including the launch of the new shoppable IKEA app.

Released this past summer, the 2021 edition will be the last published as customers know it today. The company intends to celebrate the history of the catalogue next fall when it plans to publish a book filled with home furnishing inspiration and knowledge.

The first issue of the catalogue was published in 1951 by IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad and featured the MK wing chair in brown upholstery on its cover. It was printed with a total of 68 pages in Swedish and 285,000 copies were distributed across southern Sweden.

At its peak in 2016, some 200 million copies of the IKEA catalogue were distributed in 69 different versions and 32 languages to more than 50 markets around the world.

Related Story: IKEA Canada reports revenue drop as e-commerce sales surge 42%

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Home Goods and its accompanying newsletter - HGO This Week - covers the furniture, bedding, appliances, consumer electronics, accessories, lamps and lighting and floor coverings product sectors of the big ticket home goods market in Canada. HGO is also a forum for the dissemination of market research and hard-hitting articles on best practices for Canadian retailers.

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