ARGOS has revealed it’s scrapping its iconic catalogue after almost 50 years.
The retailer, which specialises in homeware, electronics and toys, is “bidding a fond farewell” to the book as shoppers increasingly turn online.
In an email to staff, Simon Roberts, chief executive of Argos’ parent company Sainsbury’s, said: “As most customers are now browsing and ordering online, we have decided that the time is right to stop printing the Argos catalogue.
“Removing the printed catalogue helps us to flex our range and offers and to be more competitive on price.”
The catalogue was first launched in 1972 and has been running for 48 years.
Two editions are printed each year for customers to take home or to browse in stores, and celebs including Holly Willoughby, Emma Bunton and Tess Daly all made appearances in the catalogue in the early 2000s.
Arnold Schwarzenegger has even made an appearance in the famous catalogue. In total, there have been 93 editions and over 1billion copies printed.
But Argos says customers shopping on smartphones and tablets now account for more than 70 per cent of all online sales.
Most branches have also now gone digital with customers using digital tablets to browse items in stock.
A small number of stores that aren’t yet digital will continue to have laminated catalogues available, but Argos says all UK stores will have digital screens by January.
The retailer adds that its separate Christmas gift guide will continue to be printed.
The catalogue’s demise has long been coming, with Argos reportedly scrapping it in some stores back in 2017.
Mark Given, chief marketing officer at Sainsbury’s, said: “Just as our customers’ tastes have changed over the years, so have their shopping habits.
“We’re 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, both in-store and online.”
High street retailers have had a tough time of it of late, and Argos closed its 700 standalone stores when Boris Johnson told non-essential retailers and services to close from March 23 due to the coronavirus crisis.
It did, however, keep Argos concessions within Sainsbury’s supermarkets open during lockdown for the collection of online orders.
The controversial decision led to fury from workers who said the firm was “putting their health at risk” to sell paddling pools, sand bags and BBQs.
The retailer began reopening standalone stores from June 15 following government permission. Use Argos’ store locator tool to find your nearest.