Freemans drops catalogue as online sales grow

Freemans drops catalogue as online sales grow

FREEMANS is to stop printing its catalogue after an incredible 118 years – ending the run of the UK’s most iconic store directory, it announced today (14 September 2023) as customers move to shopping online and it reinvents itself as a digital pureplay.

With well over one billion copies printed since its launch in 1905, the buying bible began the careers of a string of stars and as well as featuring the likes of Yasmin Le Bon, Lulu, Lorraine Chase and Denise Van Outen. It also spawned a number of the UK’s leading catalogue creative specialists who went on to form their own creative businesses.

Over the last century the catalogue, staggeringly one of the ten oldest in the World, is among the UK’s best-read printed material reaching millions of homes each year with the last print run dropping on eight million doorsteps.

But while each catalogue carried a few thousand items, the Freemans website offers 55,000 items for shoppers to choose from, including dozens of exclusive ranges and partnerships with leading designer brands at high street prices.

In its past, it proudly introduced and made affordable a whole host of products including made-to-measure suiting, three-piece suites, televisions, washing machines, fridges, off-the-peg dresses, coats, and lingerie allowing customers to spread the cost. In many cases providing access to these types of goods for the very first time.

Today, with more than 30 million unique visitors to the brand’s digital destination annually, bosses decided to end the acclaimed catalogue’s print run. It says that the move will save 650 tonnes of paper – the equivalent of 11,000 trees a year.

The announcement coincides with the retailer sharing sales data to the six months to 30 June 2023 which showed sales were up 13 per cent year on year, its customer base had increased by 34 per cent to over one million and it was growing ahead of the market by a total of 16 per cent (Gap to Market).

The positive sales figures are a result of a digital transformation of the well-known retail brand that started three years ago. This included two trialling catalogue reductions, which is now completed. The move was guided by customer habits, who now take their home and fashion inspiration from their phone, tablet and social media rather than a paper catalogue.


Twitter Facebook LinkedIn WhatsApp

Related News

Quiz issues profit warning

Dunelm enjoys sales growth

Sign up to receive our newsletter