IKEA is axing its catalog, retiring both the printed and digital versions of the iconic product guide. It’s an end to seven decades of the printed IKEA Catalog, the vessel by which the now-famous Swedish furniture retailer managed to convince people just how its distinctive Scandinavian style could fit into their homes.
First published in 1951, the IKEA Catalog was initially only available in Sweden, and in Swedish language. It wasn’t until 1998 that the first online catalog launched, focusing on IKEA’s business furniture ranges. The following year, a digital version of the consumer catalog followed.
Despite the rise in online retail, 2016 proved to be the printed IKEA Catalog’s biggest year. That saw 200 million copies distributed worldwide, across 32 languages and over 50 markets. Not every location got the same version, either, with geographical differences in tastes and ranges leading to 69 different iterations of the printed book.Still, trends change, and online shopping is increasingly important – particularly this past year, as in-person retail dwindles due to the impact of the pandemic.