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Freemans axes catalogue after 118 years

By Danielle Wightman-Stone



Freemans campaign Credits: Freemans

Freemans, which calls itself a digital department store, has scrapped its paper catalogue after 118 years as it “moves with the times”.

In a statement, Freemans said it would be purely a digital-only business moving forward, as online sales and customer numbers grow, as part of its transformation into a digital pureplay business.

Since launching its first catalogue in 1905, Freemans has printed more than one billion copies, but with the brand’s website reaching more than 30 million unique visitors on its website, the retailer has decided to end its acclaimed catalogue run.

A move it states will save 650 tonnes of paper – the equivalent of 11,000 trees a year.

Ann Steer, chief executive of Freemans, said: “The Freemans catalogue was a national institution and one of the most successful retails sales tool the UK has ever seen. It was the UK's biggest and the best store catalogues and has served generations of families.

“However, we need to move with the times, in response to how customers are shopping these days. The transition to digital means we can serve today’s families with even more choice of great value items, all at the swipe of a phone screen.

“It’s significant step towards Freemans becoming the digital department store of choice for customers both new and old. We have made huge in-roads over the last three years and it’s paying dividends as shoppers with Freemans.com continue to grow.”

Freemans adds that sales at the business were up 13 percent year-on-year in the six months to June 30, while its customer base had also grown by 34 percent to more than one million.