Stat of the month: Categorical comeback - 1,778 - Number of pages in the Argos catalogue

Argos' new catalogue, its 68th, is 1,170 pages longer than Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - and almost as adored by the middle classes. The Telegraph recently recommended catalogue sources of 'chic gardening gear' and 'mediaeval and Renaissance books'. Meanwhile, Tory MP Michael Gove has just bought his perfect polo shirt from Boden, chattering-class catalogue-heaven. Catalogues were once the preserve of pinny-wearing retirees, but nowadays we're all too busy for the high street, and the internet lacks the armchair experience of thumbing through a catalogue, dreaming of a better-equipped life. Almost half Boden's UK sales come from catalogue shoppers seduced by evocative images. Argos shoppers spent £893m last quarter, and Littlewoods claims five million customers. Ironically, it was online retail that revived catalogue shopping. With easily adapted infrastructures already in place, catalogue firms leapt aboard the internet faster than you could say 'Twelve-piece plastic picnic set'. Even 'ethical' shopping firms have sidestepped environmental considerations to tempt us with printed pages full of images of basketweave and muesli.

by
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Is it favouritism to protect an employee no one likes?

The Dominic Cummings affair shows the dangers of double standards, but it’s also true that...

Masterclass: Communicating in a crisis

In this video, Moneypenny CEO Joanna Swash and Hill+Knowlton Strategies UK CEO Simon Whitehead discuss...

Remote working forever? No thanks

EKM's CEO Antony Chesworth has had no problems working from home, but he has no...

5 rules for work-at-home productivity

And how to focus when focusing feels impossible.

Scandal management lessons from Dominic Cummings

The PR industry offers its take on the PM’s svengali.

Why emails cause conflict

And what you can do about it.