After a truly impressive 70-year run, furniture titan IKEA has discontinued its printed catalog and will be focusing more on digital advertising. The company made the tough decision after seeing a decline in catalog readership, but will be commemorating its iconic catalogs with a book launching in Autumn of 2021.
“For both customers and co-workers, the IKEA Catalog 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, which has inspired billions of people across the world. Turning the page with our beloved catalog is in fact a natural process since media consumption and customer behaviors have changed,” says Konrad Gruss, Managing Director, Inter IKEA Systems, B.V. “In order to reach and interact with the many people, we will keep inspiring with our home furnishing solutions in new ways.”
Though it initially resisted online shopping, IKEA had little choice but to lean on it recently, especially this year with the pandemic. The company has worked to improve its mobile apps so customers can more easily browse and shop for furniture, and it is opening smaller stores in city centers in an effort to reach more customers.
In 2016, over 200 million IKEA catalogs were printed and distributed across 32 languages. A BBC documentary once claimed that the catalog was the world’s largest publication, with more published copies than the Quran or Bible since its inception in 1951.