The IKEA Catalog is Dead, Long Live IKEA Online
Iconic retail publication IKEA Catalog has been discontinued, according to a press release published by the world's largest furniture retailer.
The decision comes after 70 years of publication and signals a huge step in the company's new online focusing. As Konrad Grüss, Managing Director, Inter IKEA Systems B.V, said in the press release, the company will now face client's needs in different ways.
Turning the page with our beloved catalog is in fact a natural process since media consumption and customer behaviors have changed. In order to reach and interact with the many people, we will keep inspiring with our home furnishing solutions in new ways.
The inaugural edition was published in 1951 with 285 thousand copies in southern Sweden. In 2016 the catalog distributed 200 million copies in more than 50 markets and 32 languages across the world. In 2020, the catalog had 40 million copies.
In the last few years, the catalog readership has been in the decline while the company has taken steps towards its digital print. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people buy things, including furniture.
The company said it would publish a book commemorating the catalog in autumn 2021.
Today, IKEA has different apps focused on diverse publics with features that include the regular IKEA, but also augmented reality's IKEA Place, IKEA Home Smart, IKEA Inspire, and IKEA Home. Besides, online global retail sales jumped 45 percent last year, according to the company.
The decision to say goodbye to the IKEA Catalog goes hand-in-hand with the ongoing transformation of IKEA, being more digital and accessible.
The Expert Investor Takeaway
IKEA's decision is enormous as it would push online presence across the world. Until now, people went to the catalog and said, "hey, let's go and see that sofa in the IKEA store." From now onwards, people will have the opportunity to shop that sofa in one of the several IKEA apps.
IKEA Place, for instance, is an augmented reality app that features the furniture you want in your very own living room. And it matches in terms of size, color and allows you to have a full picture of how that piece of ethereal furniture would like in your house.
As mentioned earlier, the company reported a 45 percent jump in online sales last year, and it is expected to increase considerably in a COVID-19 and post pandemic world. There was no better moment to make the switch.
As Konrad Grüss says in the press release, the company is not starting from zero, but implementing the many changes the organization has been doing to interact better with customers.
Konrad Grüss said:
We are not starting from scratch. We have been transforming many aspects of how to reach and interact with our customers, and the work continues to find new ways to amplify unique IKEA home furnishing knowledge, products and solutions in the best possible way - to inspire the many people through new ways, channels and formats.
In that line, IKEA is in the front line to become a massive player in the global retail furniture game in the next years. The company will also be able to reduce costs, from the catalog and in the size of the actual warehouse and stores.
The move is in line with big retailers' decision to become more online focused businesses and friendlier to digital customers. Walmart, Amazon, Target, and even Carrefour has developed a robust online presence. Look for that kind of companies when you are researching for new investing opportunities.
Mauricio is a newer member of the team and a very welcome addition. He is a financial journalist and trader with over ten years of experience in stocks, Forex, commodities, and cryptocurrencies. This experience means he has an excellent understanding of the markets and current events.