Seventy years have passed since the first Ikea catalog was printed. It was 1951. And now, unfortunately, this 2020 will be the last, because the IKEA catalog is retiring. The Swedish company has announced that it will no longer print its catalog annually, now a real cult object for all fans. The reason for the decision is the growing number of online purchases and the desire to fulfill the commitment made in terms of supporting sustainability initiatives.
Konrad Grüss, Managing Director of Inter IKEA Systems, explains the decision. “For customers and collaborators, the IKEA catalog is a publication that brings with it many emotions, memories, and joys. For 70 years, it has been one of our most unique and iconic products, inspiring billions of people around the world. Exciting but rational. The consumption of multimedia content and customer habits have changed. IKEA is increasingly investing in digital. Volumes and interest in the catalog have decreased.”
The press release states that the company’s online sales have increased by 45% worldwide over the last year. Today they represent 15% of the company’s total turnover. A trend is also driven by the pandemic scenario and the difficulties related to travel. Grüss continues: “In recent years, IKEA has transformed many aspects concerning how to reach and interact with customers, to meet them. Now the path continues, expanding in the best possible way the unique Ikea experience regarding home furnishing. To products and solutions, to inspire people through existing channels, new methods, and new formats.”
For the occasion, the Swedish group has decided to share 5 curiosities that have marked the history of its catalog in 70 years:
In 1951, the founder Ingvar Kamprad composed the 68 pages of the first edition, appearing on the cover sitting in a brown armchair. 285,000 copies were printed and distributed;
-It was 1998 when the first IKEA at Office catalog was made available on the Internet. It represented a special edition with products intended for professionals;
-In 2000, for the first time, both paper and digital versions of the classic catalog were made available;
-The group launches its e-commerce, initially active in Sweden and Denmark, in 2001;
-The first time the catalog was distributed in 200 million copies (record volume) divided into 69 different versions and 32 languages for over 50 markets worldwide in 2016.
To celebrate the end of an era, a book will be published in autumn 2021 that traces the product’s history. It can be purchased at over 430 IKEA stores in 52 countries around the world.