Argos axe famous catalogue in favour of online shopping

If the trial is successful the brochure will disappear forever

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Argos axe catalogue in favour of online shopping

First it was Yellow Pages now the iconic Argos catalogue faces the axe as Brits switch to online shopping.

The glossy tome, flicked through by generations of children to create their Christmas wish lists, has been quietly scrapped from stores in England and Scotland.

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And if the trial for catalogue-free stores - and homes - is successful, the popular brochures will disappear forever.

For millions of families, pages left open with must-have products ringed in red ink by kids were a familiar sight across front rooms.

But a rise in shopping on-the-go and on laptops has made the old fashioned catalogue another victim of the digital age.

If the trial for catalogue-free stores - and homes - is successful, the brochures will disappear forever

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Stores in Inverness, Scotland along with several unnamed locations in England have been earmarked for the trial as Argos "tests demand" for the hefty, printed look book.

But today, the move to ditch the nation's much-loved shopping institution sparked a social media backlash.

Catalogue fans took to Twitter and Joy @AuntEffiesAttic posted: "My girls & grandchildren spent/spend hours poring over the Argos catalogue compiling their wish lists."

Parenting website @HerFamilydotie added: "But what would keep the kids entertained??".

And Maddie Parnell simply said: "Save the Argos catalogue!".

Facebook was also awash with pleas to keep it and Sheena Hendry took to the Argos site to vent her fury.

She told the chain: "Do you even realise how many hours of peace and quiet that catalogue gives to parents of young children who sit flicking through the toy section?"

And speaking to BBC Scotland news, she added: "I love the Argos catalogue. It's great for browsing and getting inspiration, and the kids love it especially at Christmas.

Models pose with exercise equipment in a 1973 catalogue

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"I wouldn't even mind paying a couple of quid for one."

Since Sainsbury's snapped up Argos in a £1.4billion takeover last year, bosses have been ramping up the number of digital Argos stores sharing space in the supermarket with 100 already open and another 150 set to open by 2019.

While shoppers have access to a catalogue, there are also banks of tablets for quick online shopping and click and collect service.

Yesterday Argos defended its catalogue-free stores and said the move was "purely a trial".

A spokesperson said: "As increasing numbers of customers choose to shop with us online, for a limited period we are testing demand for the take-home catalogues in a small number of stores.

"Catalogues continue to be available in the vast majority of our stores for customers who want them."

Last week Yellow Pages owner Yell revealed the 51-year-old phone directory was being scrapped for a digital only service.

A final print run of 23 million copies next year will mark the end of the go-to phone book for business numbers from accountants and builders to hairdressers, plumbers and vets.

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