IKEA Canada changes approach to its catalogue

The retailer ends home delivery, making it available only online and in-store, adopting a strategy around multiple launches focused on experiential and loyalty.

IKEA Canada-It-s the most wonderful time of the year - the 2020

Like the leaves changing colours, Starbucks pumpkin-spice lattes and the September issue of Vogue, IKEA Canada’s catalogue in the mailbox is an annual touchpoint for Canadians that fall is indeed coming.

But this year there’s a big change afoot, as IKEA’s catalogue will no longer be delivered to Canadian homes. Instead, it will be made available online as of Aug. 7, with printed copies available only in-store for those traditionalists who prefer to flip through the glossy pages. To continue to drive engagement with the printed product, IKEA is running a contest that features a “lucky ticket” inserted into some copies from Aug. 7-9, for a chance to win a $5,000 gift card.

IKEA Canada-It-s the most wonderful time of the year - the 2020Like many retailers, online shopping is becoming the new normal for IKEA. Last year, IKEA Canada had 30 million visitors walk through its doors, but that was eclipsed by the 104 million visitors to its website. Similarly, the company has been seeing a shift in recent years with its catalogue, with increased traffic to its online version.

And in another sign of the changing times for brick-and-mortar, the popular retailer is upping its experiential offerings to lure people off their couches and into a store. IKEA will be doing four launches over the next year, each of which were described by the retailer as being just as big as the annual catalogue. Each of these launches will come with a “Home Furnishing Festival,” large scale events open to IKEA loyalty program members. The first festival, dubbed “IKEA House Party,” is set for Aug. 16 at all 14 IKEA Canada stores.

“The arrival of the IKEA catalogue is the most exciting time of year for our customers,” said Kathy Davey, head of communication and interior design for IKEA Canada, in a press release. “In today’s digitally savvy environment, shopping behaviours have changed and traditional brick-and-mortar stores are becoming more experiential.”

IKEA Canada-It-s the most wonderful time of the year - the 2020The “House Party” will focus on celebrating the launch of both the catalogue and the new “Symfonisk” WiFi speaker collection.

The new collection is a collaboration between IKEA and Sonos, and the fall catalogue is highly focused on this and other tech products, such as connected lighting.

Clearly, the retailer still believes in good old-fashioned human interaction as a way to build connections with customers. Recently, IKEA Canada has hosted everything from native plant workshops to a Valentine’s Day dinner to a sleepover to get customers in the store. Like other retailers, such as Indigo, MEC and Staples, growing deeper connections via experiential offerings is clearly seen as key in an increasingly digital world.

So while online offerings are important, the retailer is currently taking an omnichannel approach by offering a mix of ways for Canadians to interact with the brand, whether that means going in-store to get a print copy of the catalogue or virtually thumbing through it online this year.