Argos to stop printing its famous catalogue after almost 50 years

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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.

Argos is scrapping its famous catalogue after almost 50 years

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 1973 and has been running for 47 years.

Two editions are printed each year for customers to take home or to browse in stores, and celebs including Holly Willoughby, Emma Willis and Tess Daly all made appearances in the catalogue in the early 2000s. 

The catalogue was available to shoppers to take home or to browse in store

But Argos says it’s moving away from the catalogue as shoppers switch increasingly online

In total, there have been 93 editions and over 1billion copies printed.

A small number of stores that aren’t yet digital will, however, continue to have a small number of laminated catalogues to help customers.

While Argos adds that its separate Christmas gift guide will also continue to be printed.

The catalogue’s demise has long been coming, with Argos reportedly scrapping it in some stores back in 2017.

It features everything Argos sells, alongside a description and a price – this picture shows TVs being sold back in the 1980’s

It became known for its often cheesy pictures of people promoting its equipment

Most Argos branches have now gone digital with customers using iPads to browse items in stock.

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.