May 3, 2019
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H&M discontinues "irrelevant" catalogue business

May 3, 2019

H&M said Friday that it’s discontinuing its catalogue business as it’s increasingly irrelevant to modern shoppers. It’s the latest in a succession of big names to abandon the physical catalogues on which some of those businesses were founded as online becomes the key channel for direct-to-consumer selling.

Catalogues used to be the main way to sell directly to consumers but are now usually marketing tools

“We want shopping at H&M to be relevant, convenient and inspiring,” the company said. “Shopping from a catalogue simply isn’t relevant to today’s consumers.” Its final catalogues were published this week.

Online shopping continues to grow fast and to account for a growing chunk of consumer spending. That means most consumer interaction with catalogues nowadays is about smaller publications created as a marketing tool to promote discounts, or shopping around key seasonal events.
And of course, the exit from paper catalogues also feeds well into the whole eco focus of modern companies and their customers.

The company said that it’s “dedicated to sustainability and we are constantly improving our business to reduce our impact on the environment. This is a gradual work and now the turn has come to the catalogue business which we have decided to discontinue with immediate effect.”

The H&M catalogue dates back to the Swedish mail-order business Rowells that the group acquired back in 1980 and is currently published in only six of its 72 markets, while online shopping is available in 48 of those markets.

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