Ikea is ending its bible-sized annual catalog after 70 years in publication.
The Swedish retailer cited the increasing shift to online browsing and shopping for the end of its catalog. Ikea said in a statement it has “taken the emotional but rational decision to respectfully end the successful career” of the print and digital versions of the catalog.
“Turning the page with our beloved catalog is in fact a natural process since media consumption and customer behaviors have changed,” said Konrad Grüss, an Ikea executive, in a statement. “In order to reach and interact with the many people, we will keep inspiring with our home furnishing solutions in new ways.”
The first Ikea catalog was released in Swedish in 1951. The first dual-version (online and in print) was released in 2000 and, at its peak in 2016, Ikea printed 200 million copies in 32 languages in 50 markets.
Ikea has increasingly shifted its focus to digital sales and marketing. Its online sales got a big boost during the pandemic as millions of people turned their homes into makeshift schools and offices, with sales surging 45% over the 12 months to August, driven by 4 billion visits to its website.
Still, its warehouse-sized stores and beloved cafes remain an integral part of the company’s growth plan. Inter Ikea Group CEO Jon Abrahamsson Ring said that customers still want to “touch and try” its products. The company said it will continue to employ a “total market approach,” offering smaller showrooms in city centers, traditional suburban Ikea stores and online fulfillment centers.
The 2021 catalog, released in October, will be the final version. Next year, Ikea will release a smaller book that will be “filled with great home furnishing inspiration and knowledge” and celebrates the catalog’s history.