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12/07/2020

Ikea ending a 70-year tradition

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
Marianne Wilson profile picture

Ikea is closing the book on its iconic printed catalog.

The home furnishings giant is ending publication of its annual catalog after 70 years, citing the increased shift to online browsing and shopping. 

“Turning the page with our beloved catalog is in fact a natural process since media consumption and customer behaviors have changed,” stated Konrad Grüss, managing director, Inter Ikea Systems B.V. “In order to reach and interact with the many people, we will keep inspiring with our home furnishing solutions in new ways.”

The decision to discontinue the catalog comes as Ikea has enhanced its digital capabilities and online shopping. Last year, Ikea’s online retail sales increased by 45% worldwide, and its web site had more than four billion visits. 

“We have been transforming many aspects of how to reach and interact with our customers, and the work continues to find new ways to amplify unique Ikea home furnishing knowledge, products and solutions in the best possible way — to inspire the many people through new ways, channels and formats,” stated Grüss.

The 2021 catalog Ikea released in October is the last official catalog. But Ikea plans to commemorate the catalog with a book "filled with great home furnishing inspiration and knowledge" in the fall of 2021.

The first Ikea catalog was published in 1951, in Swedish. It was 68 pages and 285,000 copies were printed and distributed in southern Sweden. At its peak, in 2016, 200 million copies of the catalog were distributed in 69 different versions, in 32 languages and to more than 50 markets.