Wednesday 10/20/21

Swedish furniture giant IKEA to drop printed catalogue after 70 years

The first edition of the catalogue appeared in 1951.
Ikea warehouse. Photo: Pixabay.

Swedish furniture retail giant IKEA on Monday announced it was to cease publishing the print version of its well-known catalogue after 70 years, citing changing consumer habits.

"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 catalogue is emotional but rational," said Konrad Gruess, managing director of Inter IKEA Systems.

The Dutch-based company owns the IKEA concept and is the worldwide IKEA franchiser.

The first edition of the catalogue appeared in 1951, and was compiled by the late IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad. About 285,000 copies were distributed in southern Sweden.

As IKEA's reach and markets increased, the catalogue was distributed in more and more countries.

In 2000, the firm launched a digital version of the catalogue along with the printed version.

200 million copies

In 2016, the peak year, 200 million hard copies of the catalogue were distributed in 69 different versions, in 22 languages and more than 50 markets, IKEA said.

Dropping the catalogue was in line with more consumers opting to use IKEA's online channels.

IKEA plans to publish a history of the catalogue in the autumn of 2021.

The IKEA Museum in Almhut, southern Sweden also has an online history of the catalogue. The museum is situated near the location of the first IKEA furniture store that opened in October 1958.