After a long run lasting more than 70 years, Ikea stops publishing its catalog in print.
The official decision to stop publishing the IKEA catalog comes as a historical reflection and a sudden sign of the times. Readers of catalogs and print products are on the decline, ikea catalogs are no exception, and companies are increasingly turning to digital.
Sic transit gloria mundi
THE catalog, THAT catalog will no longer be printed. It is the thud of a huge iceberg, the equivalent of the recent choice of Warner Bros to send all his movies in streaming, and not before in the hall. It is not just a matter of finding furniture and accessories, instructions for obtaining the ikea family or anything that we could find in the points of sale. It is an emotional question, for Jupiter. The publication of the Swedish company, however, directly marked important milestones in our life. That magazine accompanied us on the move home alone. With the little room furnished for the child. With that belief that seemed impossible to finish alone.
I still seem to see the ikea summer 2013 catalog, the year after the wedding, to furnish my house by the sea. And what about the ikea summer 2016 catalog, with its reassuring images, prices, offers? I can't do it, too many memories!
From renovating the house to renewing the business model
After initially resisting online shopping, the company founded by Ingvar Kamprad was "forced" to welcome it during the pandemic, also because one could not even set foot in ikea stores for many months.
The decision to abandon this house organ in paper format reflects the changing times, as mentioned. With the decline in readers of print materials (the flyer, the brochure), companies are increasingly turning to digital options (the site). IKEA catalog is no exception and has "abdicated" in favor of digital options. While this is a sad development for fans of the celebrated publication, it is indicative of the media consumption landscape. A way, perhaps the only one, to remain relevant and accessible to your public.
An impediment that has become an advantage, it seems.
Ikea says its online retail sales (both those on offer below cost, and those of the new stock) have increased 45% worldwide last year with ikea.com which he recorded four billion visits. At ikea you can find everything, historically, but it is not the assortment that has weighed, this time. It is proximity. The company has also enhanced its suite of apps by opening smaller stores located in urban centers intended to reach the people where they live.
IKEA catalog: the fall of the Gods
In terms of the message to the printed word, the decision to "close" the Catalog in paper form is gigantic.
At its peak in 2016, the IKEA catalog was distributed in 200 million copies and in 32 different languages.
It is, in fact, the largest publication in the world by volume, born in 1951. The IKEA catalog has several printed copies of the Bible, or the Koran.
Applause for the trees, a little relief, and despair for the supporters of the paper, a support destined to be further reduced.
The top 3 of the most beautiful
Now that the IKEA catalog is no longer printed, and that its digital version does not give the same "emotions", it is legitimate to indulge in the nostalgia of the good old days. With my very personal "treasure hunt" with the 5 most characteristic IKEA catalog covers, in reverse order of ranking (for suspense). Drumroll:
3rd place - IKEA catalog 1975 - I couldn't fail to mention it. And not only because this is my year of birth: on the cover, for the first time a "tone on tone", everything becomes fabric. The fabric of one of the most characteristic and practical armchairs: in a slightly different shape, it was also re-proposed in the following years. Judgment: stainless.
2rd place - IKEA catalog 2013 - In a sense, the rediscovery of color. In the IKEA 2013 collection an icon (the one on the cover, the immortal Strandmon armchair) contrasts with essential furnishings with dominant white or navy blue and white stripes. Boom of decorated pillows, since then not a year has gone by without renewing the pillowcases :)
1rd place - IKEA catalog 2016
Here we do not go very far, but the essential "modernity" of the early '10s is replaced by a more "languid" and environmentalist look, if you allow me what may seem like a gamble, speaking of such a large industry. Natural wood in sight, child-proof furnishings and above all that large green logo (it is not accidental, nothing is left to chance) are the ideal title page of ikea 2016 products marked by a single word: sustainability.
A final farewell
"For 70 years the IKEA catalog has been one of our most unique and iconic products, inspiring the décor of billions of people around the world," he says. Konrad Gruss, managing director of Inter IKEA Systems BV.
General media consumption and customer behavior have changed, and Ikea is already increasing digital investments on the internet while volumes and interest in the IKEA catalog have decreased. Undeniable facts.Konrad Gruss, managing director of Inter IKEA Systems BV.
The company says it will commemorate the catalog with a book launch in the fall of 2021.
Another piece of history that goes away.
On a display.