IKEA is retiring its iconic catalog after a good 70-year run

Furniture giant IKEA has made an “emotional but rational” decision to discontinue its IKEA Catalog, both in print and online.

The company announced in a statement that it will no longer be publishing the copy as its demand has fallen. However, 40 million copies of the book will continue to be distributed in 2021 as planned.

“It has been one of our best-known and best-loved products for 70 years, inspiring billions of people around the world,” said IKEA manager Konrad Gruss. “Unfortunately, fewer people are reading it, which led to the decision of “[ending] the successful career of the IKEA catalog.”

Talks about removing the catalog had been ongoing for the past four years, Gruss said. The team finally made the decision to discontinue the catalog a few months back. It is also part of the overhaul the company is taking, as it has been facing serious competition from furniture startups.

Gruss added that the team will find new ways to inspire its customers with its home furnishing solutions by experimenting with different channels and formats.

The first IKEA Catalog was released in 1950 in Swedish, and it only had 16 pages and simple black and white drawings. A year later, it was singlehandedly put together by IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad and expanded to 68 pages. The book featured IKEA’s brow upholstered rocking chair on the cover, and 285,000 copies were printed and distributed in southern Sweden.

The physical book then expanded to digital platforms. The catalog’s popularity peaked in 2016, with 200 million copies being distributed in 32 languages.

To honor the iconic book, IKEA plans to debut a commemorative booklet in 2021 filled with inspiration and information related to home furnishing. It also recently released 72 years of catalogs into an archive.

Source: Design Taxi