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The Internet Age is finally here for Argos Catalogue

By Chris Dawson July 31, 2020 - 10:30 am

The Argos Catalogue was the destination for every child in the pre-internet era and there was hardly a household in the country that didn’t have the latest edition eagerly thumbed through in the run up to Christmas. Whilst today, a retailer’s online wish list might be de rigueur, I have one friend who was annually presented with a list of numbers as their Christmas wish list and yes it was the Argos catalogue numbers for the gifts her daughter was hoping for.

Now the Argos Catalogue is to finally be laid to rest and by 2021 it will be gone forever. Since it’s launch in 1972, it was the most popular publication in the UK and the only book in more people’s homes was the Bible.

Argos was one of the few retailers ready when the Internet arrived and were able to pivot relatively easily. A catalogue based approach where every product had a unique identifier made getting online relatively easy and with stores essentially configured as local warehouses with a trade counter ensured that click and collect arrived at Argos before almost any other high street retailer. Success from 5 decades ago has translated into success in an Internet age.

Argos of course hasn’t been without challenges – many high street stores have closed in favour of out of town locations and, now part of Sainsbury’s, also offer smaller outlets with click and collect in supermarkets. Today, consumers aren’t thumbing through printed paper but browsing online and tools such as their mobile app, website and in-store browsers are the modern equivalent. Essentially, everyone now has the Argos catalogue on their mobile phone.

The Argos catalogue may be coming to the end of it’s days with almost a billion printed and distributed over the years, but nothing has to die in the age of the Internet. ‘The Book of Dreams‘ has been placed online with every edition going back to the 1970s still available to browse on a celebration website. If you want to relive your childhood and have one final browse through the Argos Catalogue there’s a world of nostalgia to peruse.

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