Digi-Key Halts Print Catalogs

Electronic components distributor Digi-Key Corp. won’t be mailing any more print catalogs. The company announced that its catalog and TechZone magazine will now be available only online.

Digi-Key catalogs have mailed for nearly 40 years, with fliers going back as far as 1970, according to chief marketing officer Tony Harris.

Its first official catalog mailed in 1972. But the marketer has been cutting back on catalogs in recent years. Digi-Key mailed nearly 4.5 million catalogs to more than 100 countries in 2009. That number dropped to 1.9 million in 2010 and 235,000 so far this year.

What prompted the company to drop the print catalog?

Digi-Key customers have “clearly spoken through both their words and actions,” Harris explains. “They strongly prefer to access Digi-Key and our intellectual resources via the web.”

For one thing, Digi-Key’s portfolio of websites provides customers with the latest product as soon as it is introduced to the market. The websites also offer real-time pricing and inventory, current lead times, product specifications, current data and application notes, videos, reference designs and custom editorial content and more.

“This decision is consistent with Digi-Key’s goal to be ‘green’ and to act responsibly to protect our environment,” Harris adds. “By producing only interactive and PDF catalogs and magazines, Digi-Key will significantly reduce our impact on the environment and provide customers with efficient, virtual access to our expansive product offering.”

Considering the 2009 Digi-Key catalog weighed in with a whopping 2,600 pages, “it’s not hard to see how dropping the print versions of our catalog and magazines would greatly reduce Digi-Key’s carbon footprint,” Harris says.

The paper from all the 2009 catalogs would circumnavigate the globe 14 times or stretch 350,694 miles, Harris points out.

“Our biggest desire is to allow our customers the easiest and most complete access to our resources and to allow them to make the best decisions possible for their electronic component needs,” Harris says.

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