After 70 years, Ikea will end the production of its catalog, both print and digital, the company announced Monday.
The move is part of an ongoing effort from Ikea to become more digital and accessible, and the company said it can better serve its customers through different channels, according to a press release.
At its peak, the company said 200 million copies of the catalog were distributed to more than 50 markets.
Since Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad produced it himself in 1951, the Swedish furniture retailer has grown its iconic catalog to serve "billions of people across the world."
But as shopping and browsing for goods online has become increasingly popular, the retailer is seeking out alternatives.
"Turning the page with our beloved catalog is in fact a natural process since media consumption and customer behaviors have changed," Konrad Grüss, managing director of Inter Ikea Systems B.V., said in a statement. "In order to reach and interact with the many people, we will keep inspiring with our home furnishing solutions in new ways."
Moving away from printed marketing has been a trend in the industry for several years now, with players like Victoria's Secret and H&M exiting production of their own catalogs. The brands that take steps to lessen the environmentally harmful impacts of catalogs may do well among consumers, who have become ever more conscious of sustainability in recent years, altering their purchasing behavior.
According to a survey from global management and consulting firm Kearney, 11% of consumers have altered their purchases within the past year based on environmental claims. And the coronavirus pandemic has only accelerated this behavior as nearly half of consumers surveyed said they are more concerned about the environment as a result.
For Ikea, the move away from its traditional catalogs and toward more digital channels has been in the works for years. The retailer in 2018 reportedly scaled back the production of its catalog, mailing out 50% fewer catalogs that year compared to the year prior. Instead, it rolled out a series of 10-foot-by-10-foot digital "catalogs" in prominent places, like New York City's Times Square.
The retailer last year began testing out an app that included shoppable content, product reviews, easier searching and browsing, and integrated AR functionality. Ikea this past June also introduced a new platform called EverydayExperiments.com from its Space10 research lab aimed at helping consumers digitally reimagine and design their homes. And in April, the retailer's parent company Ingka Group acquired Geomagical Labs, a 3D and visual AI tech company. Ikea this year also expanded its e-commerce offerings to three additional markets, including China.
And those digital investments appear to be paying off. Ikea said its online retail sales increased some 45% worldwide this year.