After 70 successful years, IKEA is turning the page on the Catalogue
December 7, 2020
Burlington, ON - The IKEA Catalogue has a phenomenal 70-year legacy. Over the years it has become an iconic and beloved publication and has helped the retailer reach and inspire people across the world with home furnishing solutions and products. But times are changing. IKEA is transforming its business model to become more accessible and digital, while embracing new ways to connect with more people. Customer behavior and media consumption have changed, and the IKEA Catalogue has been less used. As such, Inter IKEA Systems B.V., the worldwide IKEA franchisor, has decided to respectfully end the successful career of the IKEA Catalogue.
“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, inspiring billions of people across the world. Turning the page with our beloved catalogue is a natural process since media consumption and customer behaviors have evolved. Looking forward, we will find new ways to engage and inspire the many people with our home furnishing solutions,” says Konrad Grüss, Managing Director, Inter IKEA Systems B.V.
Life at home has never been more important. During the past few years, IKEA has tested new formats and ways to distribute the content of the IKEA Catalogue. A wealth of knowledge and insights, from both customers and IKEA retailers globally, have informed the decision, showing new opportunities to help people meet their needs and dreams at home.
“We are not starting from scratch. We have been transforming how we reach and interact with our customers, and the work continues to find new ways to amplify our unique home furnishing knowledge, products and solutions in the best possible way. We want to inspire the many people through new ways, channels and formats,” says Konrad Grüss.
The decision to say goodbye to the IKEA Catalogue goes hand-in-hand with the ongoing transformation of IKEA. Last year, IKEA Canada online retail sales increased by 41.9 per cent, IKEA.ca welcomed more than 178.5 million visitors – and at the same time, the retailer has enhanced digital services including the launch of the new shoppable IKEA app.
The 2021 Catalogue, released this past summer, will be the last IKEA Catalogue as customers know it today. Looking forward, IKEA will honour and celebrate the fantastic history of the IKEA Catalogue. As tribute, during Fall 2021, the retailer will make a book available, filled with great home furnishing inspiration and knowledge.
5 facts about the IKEA Catalogue:
- 1951: Ingvar Kamprad himself put together the first IKEA Catalogue. The cover featured the MK wing chair in brown upholstery. It was printed with a total of 68 pages in Swedish and 285,000 copies were distributed across southern Sweden
- 1998: The first "IKEA at the office" Catalogue launched on the internet, as a special edition, only showing furniture for business/offices. The ambition that year was to present the whole catalogue online, but due to the complexity with IT-systems the launch was postponed.
- 2000: Successful launch of both a printed and digital version of the IKEA Catalogue.
- 2001: E-commerce is launched for the first time in IKEA history, in Sweden and Denmark.
- 2016: At its peak year, the IKEA Catalogue was distributed in 200 million copies, in 69 different versions, 32 languages and to more than 50 IKEA markets.
References and links to the IKEA Museum and online versions of the historical catalogues:
About IKEA and our franchise system
IKEA offers well-designed, functional and affordable, high-quality home furnishing, produced with care for people and the environment. Today, 12 different groups of companies own and operate IKEA sales channels under franchise agreements with Inter IKEA Systems B.V. There are several companies with different owners, working under the IKEA brand, all sharing the same vision: to create a better everyday life for the many people. IKEA was founded in Sweden in 1943.
About Inter IKEA Group
Inter IKEA Group includes Inter IKEA Systems B.V., IKEA of Sweden AB, IKEA Supply AG, IKEA Industry AB and related businesses. Inter IKEA Holding B.V. is the holding company for the Inter IKEA Group.
The IKEA retail business is operated through a franchise system with franchisees that are authorised to a market and to sell the IKEA product range within specified geographical territories. Inter IKEA Systems B.V. is the owner of the IKEA Concept and worldwide IKEA franchisor, who also assigns different IKEA companies to develop the range, supply products and deliver communication solutions.
About IKEA Canada
Founded in 1943 in Sweden, IKEA is a leading home furnishing retailer, offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible can afford them. IKEA Canada is part of Ingka Group which operates 374 IKEA stores in 30 countries, including 14 in Canada. Last year, IKEA Canada welcomed 22.9 million visitors to its stores and 178.4 million visitors to IKEA.ca and the IKEA app. IKEA Canada operates business through the IKEA vision - to create a better everyday life for the many people and does so through its local community efforts and sustainability initiatives. For more information on IKEA Canada, please visit IKEA.ca.
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Public Relations Leader