In Brief

Argos to cease printing physical catalogue

UK

30 July 2020

First printed in 1973, the Argos catalogue has spent close to 50 years as a cornerstone of the British high street.

Now, however, the retailer has announced that it is to cease regular printing of the title, arguing that the move has been prompted by the “greater convenience” offered by online shopping.

Argos said that coronavirus had not influenced its decision, although the virus has severely impacted the wider publishing industry. The catalogue has, however, been in decline for many years.

At its peak, around 10m copies of each edition of the Argos catalogue were printed, although this figure has dropped considerably. The most recent version of the catalogue, printed in January 2020, ran to just 3.9m copies.

“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.”