Argos UK to stop printing physical product catalogue

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If you are based in the UK or have been to the UK you may of noticed just about every town and retail park has an Argo store for house items large and small and is hugely popular with people to source Toys all year round but especially at Christmas time.

I know many kids who used to flick, rip and turn through the plastic sweet smelling catalogue and you wished for a certain toy, play-set, video game or console, to help the nagging and making sure your parents knew the one you wanted. You wouldn’t want the wrong Furby, Gremlin, Muppet etc.

The autumn/winter Argos catalogue 2020 has been cancelled, the retailer has publicly announced that will no longer print its iconic twice-yearly catalogue as shoppers increasingly transition to the online space.

Argos were acquired by the Sainsburys Supermarket group a while ago. They have started combining many nearby Argos stores into their larger stores, and beefing up their limited home wear sections.

The catalogue was produced for 48 years, launched in 1972, with some 93 editions and 1b copies making their way off the printing press to be browsed at home or in-store.

Memories of Argos through child’s eyes

The nice thing about Argos growing up and until recently maybe within the last 4-5 years. Was you could pickup the large thick product catalogue, use it for many uses at home, and when you wanted to check what they did, what colours they had you could see it.

And if you went to the store you could even back in the day check if the item was in stock, very important when you need that toy, or washing line cover that only Argos have for the larger lines!

Then if you prefer to speak to a human, write down the item code with a pencil and paper and off you went.

There was always something unique about Argos as a kid especially you order and your item comes down the conveyor belt or is picked, are you going to beat the other customers who are after a random pillow case or batteries. Number 123 please come to your collection point please.

Digital Tech Replaces pencil and paper

Tablets and iPad style product and ordering displays have almost fully replaced the pencil and paper slips. Gone but not forgotten.

Of course that is very old school and now with Amazon running the world other retailers are playing catchup. I did wonder how long they would keep printing as the cost and materials seems to make it not worth it.

As almost all except the older generation will now use the online site, more items easier to view, prices of course constantly updated and price matched.

70% and growing online actions at Argos

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.”

Argos says customers shopping on smartphones and tablets now account for more than 70% of all online sales; branches have also now gone digital, with customers using digital tablets to browse items in stock.

Reports suggest that a small selection of stores that aren’t yet digital will continue to offer laminated catalogues, but the retailer says all UK stores will be fully screened and digital screens by January 2021.

Argos confirmed that the separate Christmas gift guide will continue to be printed, again this was essential as a kid to help nag your parents for the console, figure, toy.