After almost 50 years, Argos has made the decision to axe its catalogue that once could be found in three-quarters of UK homes. The retailer has said that it is of “greater convenience” to shop for items online instead of flicking through the bi-annual catalogue.
Launched in 1973, the bi-annual Argos catalogue was once considered the buying bible, as it allowed consumers to conveniently flick through the latest must-haves and trends.
Despite COVID-19 reportedly ruining the printing industry, the company has insisted that the pandemic is not responsible for the decision to cease printing.
Throughout the years, the Argos catalogue has had its celebrity moments. From comedian Alan Carr saying it was his favourite book on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, to stars such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Holly Willoughby promoting products on the pages.
Over the last decade, the number of copies available of the Argos catalogue has seen a huge drop, from 10 million printed copies to just 3 million. Before the coronavirus pandemic hit, the January catalogue saw only 3.9 million hit stores.
It is believed that the decline of the catalogue’s popularity is due to the change in shoppers’ habits, as people are finding it increasingly easier to simply look online.
Mark Given, the chief marketing officer at Sainsbury’s, who own Argos, stated: “Over the decades the Argos catalogue has charted the nation’s changing tastes and trends in everything from must-have toys to the latest gadgets and devices.
“Just as our customers’ tastes have changed over the years, so have their shopping habits. We are seeing an increasing shift towards digital shopping, using our mobile app, website and in-store browsers. Closing the book on the catalogue will help us focus on delivering exciting and inspiring digital shopping experiences to meet the changing needs of our customers.”
Although Argos has made the decision to axe the catalogue, the retailer has confirmed that there will continue to be a Christmas Gift Guide, which will be available in all stores this year.