After 70 successful years, IKEA turns the page and has therefore taken the emotional but rational decision to respectfully end the successful career of the IKEA Catalogue – and look to the future with excitement. The beloved IKEA Catalogue as we know it today will not continue.
In 1951, the founder of the multinational retail company specialising in furniture Ingvar Kamprad himself put together the first IKEA Catalogue, in Swedish, and the very first catalogue cover featured the MK wing chair in brown upholstery, still in production. Printed and distributed in 285,000 copies in the southern part of Sweden, 68 pages.
The first catalogue available on the internet was “IKEA at office”, a special edition only showing furniture for business/offices. The ambition in 1998 was to present the whole catalogue online, but due to the complexity with IT-systems, the launch was postponed. In 2000, both a printed and digital version was launched. In 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 markets.
Over the years it has been an important success factor for IKEA to reach and inspire the many people across the world with home furnishing solutions and products. But times are changing. IKEA has become more digital and accessible while embracing new ways to connect with more people. Customer behaviour and media consumption have changed, and fewer people read the IKEA Catalogue today than in years past.
A wealth of knowledge and insights, from both customers and the IKEA retailers, have been collected and considered in the decision to say goodbye to the IKEA Catalogue. It is also clear that the inspirational home furnishing content is where the magic happens, and IKEA will continue to inspire and help people to plan their needs and dreams at home with existing and new exciting tools.
The decision to say goodbye to the IKEA Catalogue goes hand-in-hand with the ongoing IKEA transformation to become more digital and accessible. Last year IKEA 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 IKEA experience – wherever customers meet the IKEA Brand.
IKEA will celebrate the fantastic history of the IKEA Catalogue. As a tribute, during the autumn of 2021, IKEA will make a book available for the customers in the stores, filled with great home furnishing inspiration and knowledge.