After 70 successful years, IKEA is turning the page on its iconic Catalogue

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IKEA has today announced that the current edition of its IKEA Catalogue – distributed from summer this year – will be the last to be published, as part of the home furnishing retailer’s ongoing ambition to become a more digital and accessible business.

The IKEA Catalogue has a phenomenal 70-year legacy. Over the years it has become an iconic and beloved publication, and has been an important way for IKEA to reach and inspire the many people across the world with home furnishing solutions and products.

But times are changing. Over the past few years IKEA has become more digital and accessible, and embraced new ways to connect and interact with more people. As customer behaviour and media consumption has changed, the IKEA Catalogue has been used less, leading Inter IKEA Systems B.V., the worldwide IKEA franchisor, to cease production the Catalogue and look to the future with excitement.

Over the last few years, new formats and ways to distribute the content of the IKEA Catalogue have been tested. A wealth of knowledge and insights, from both customers and IKEA retailers, have been collected and considered in the decision to end the publication of both the printed and online versions of the IKEA Catalogue.  

Konrad Grüss, managing director, Inter IKEA Systems B.V., commented: “For both customers and co-workers, the IKEA Catalogue is a publication that brings a lot of emotions, memories and joy. 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 on our beloved catalogue is in fact a natural process since media consumption and customer behaviours have changed. In order to reach and interact with the many people, we will keep inspiring with our home furnishing solutions in new ways.

“Life at home has never been more important. Over the last few years IKEA has tested new formats and ways to distribute the content of the IKEA Catalogue. Insights highlight that people are now planning the needs and dreams of their homes with alternative existing and new exciting tools. Whilst it is time to say goodbye to the Catalogue, IKEA look to the future with excitement – as this chapter closes, another one begins. 

“We will now take the next steps to amplify the unique IKEA home furnishing knowledge, products and solutions in the best possible way. But we are not starting from scratch. Over the last few years, we have been transforming many aspects of how to reach and interact with our customers, and the work continues to find new ways, channels and formats to inspire and reach more of the many people across the world.”

The decision to say goodbye to the IKEA Catalogue goes hand in hand with the ongoing transformation of IKEA to become more digital and accessible. This transformation is already well underway. Last year, online retail sales increased by 45% worldwide, IKEA.com welcomed more than four billion visits, and at the same time IKEA has improved digital services and launched new apps for a better experience – wherever customers meet IKEA. 

As a tribute and celebration of the IKEA Catalogue’s fantastic history, IKEA will be launching a book in autumn 2021, filled with great home furnishing inspiration and knowledge.

Five facts about the IKEA catalogue:

1951: Ingvar Kamprad himself put together the first IKEA Catalogue, and the very first catalogue cover featured the MK wing chair in brown upholstery. Printed and distributed in 285 000 copies in the southern of Sweden, 68 pages. In Swedish.

1998: First catalogue “IKEA at office” available on internet, which was a special edition only showing furniture for business/offices. The ambition this year was to present the whole catalogue online, but due to the complexity with IT systems the launch was postponed. 

2000: Launch of both a printed and digital version of the IKEA Catalogue.

2001: E-commerce is launched for the first time in the IKEA history, in Sweden and Denmark. 

2016: At its peak year, the IKEA Catalogue was distributed in 200 million copies, in in 69 different versions, 32 languages and to more than 50 markets.