Argos is shutting down its iconic paper catalogue and people are devastated

Iana Murray
Thursday 30 July 2020 13:45
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(Getty)

Anyone who grew up in Britain in the 90s will likely remember what it was like to sit with the giant Argos catalogue on your lap, spending hours circling every toy, gadget and household appliance that you dreamed of owning.

Those days are officially over, as the retailer has announced that it is shutting down the once ubiquitous catalogue that was the go-to guide for Christmas wish-lists.

Nevertheless, the Argos catalogue is leaving quite the legacy. More than one billion copies have been printed since it launched almost 50 years ago.

Printed twice a year, the publication showcased thousands of products available at Argos. It was so popular that at one point, it was found in three quarters of British homes.

The catalogue was beloved by many. Comedian Bill Bailey described the publication as “the laminated book of dreams”, and Alan Carr famously chose the catalogue as his book choice on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs.

Citing online shopping as the reason for the end of the catalogue, Mark Given, chief marketing officer at Sainsbury’s (which owns Argos) 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.

Naturally, the news proved to be devastating for many.

Feeling nostalgic, people shared their fondest memories from the glory days of the Argos catalogue.

However, anyone still longing for a (smaller) catalogue can rest easy, as Argos will still be printing its annual Christmas gift guide. Argos has also made all of its back catalogues available online.

Of course, perusing the selection through a computer screen can never compare to the tactile joy of flicking through the pages of a catalogue, but we can dream.

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