Ikea scraps catalogue amid rise of online shopping

Furniture giant Ikea has said it will scrap its catalogue as more and more people turn to the internet to shop.

The last print run of the catalogue was this summer, the company said, after a history that stretches back to 1951.

Some 285,000 copies of the first catalogue, with 68 pages, were printed that year and distributed to people in the south of Sweden.

It was compiled personally by Ingvar Kamprad, the founder whose initials form the first two letters in Ikea.

Throughout its 70-year history, though less in the UK, the catalogue regularly adorned the same coffee tables that were found in its pages.

But the book has been moved to the back seat in recent years, as internet shopping has taken precedence.

Yet, despite the rise of the internet, Ikea’s biggest print run for its catalogue was as recently as 2016, when it printed 200 million copies in 32 languages.

“For both customers and co-workers, the Ikea catalogue is a publication that brings a lot of emotions, memories and joy,” said Konrad Gruss, managing director of Inter Ikea Systems.

“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 on our beloved catalogue is in fact a natural process since media consumption and customer behaviours have changed.

“In order to reach and interact with the many people, we will keep inspiring with our home furnishing solutions in new ways.”

Ikea made an early move into the online space when it tried to put its whole catalogue online in 1998. But technical difficulties postponed the launch.

In 2000, both a printed and a digital version of the Ikea catalogue were available for the first time.

In 2001 Ikea launched its first ecommerce site for Swedish and Danish shoppers.