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Argos ends an era as it ceases to print its catalogue after almost 50 years

Argos has confirmed its intentions to end an era and stop printing its catalogue after almost 50 years of producing the now iconic ‘buying bible’. The move has been made in alignment with the changes habits of consumers today and a lean towards online shopping.

The retailer has stated that it will continue to produce its Christmas Gift Guide that will be available in all stores this year, but has given way to the rise in online shopping and the ‘greater convenience’ it offers to shoppers, rather than flicking through the physical catalogue.

More than 1bn copies of the bi-annual catalogue have been printed since its launch in 1973 but its popularity has been in decline in recent years as the internet increasingly gains sway over shoppers’ buying habits.Over the last decade the number of printed copies of each edition has dropped from around 10 million to around 3 million. The most recent one, printed in January before the coronavirus pandemic hit, ran to 3.9 million.

“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,” said Mark Given, chief marketing officer at Sainsbury’s, which owns Argos.

“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.”

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