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What does the future of the print brochure look like?

Retailers, manufacturers and publishers are shocked: Rewe has created a stir in the industry with its announcement to end printed weekly brochures on July 1, 2023. In our article, we describe why retailers are increasingly saying goodbye to leaflets and which channels they will rely on in the future.

Just a few days ago, Rewe announced in a press release that they plan to retire print brochures by mid-2023 due to their sustainability strategy. But Rewe is far from the only player moving away from print as a medium. 

In 2021, for example, the popular IKEA catalog was printed and distributed to consumers for the last time. The fact that 2022 is a year of deciding for or against print is also shown by announcements from other retailers: Kik, Woolworth and Müller, among others, are stepping back. OBI Germany is changing its focus from print to its own app as well. And yet another catalog is being eliminated: Manufactum, part of the Otto Group, is discontinuing its main catalog after 34 years.

With Rewe's announcement, this trend has now reached food retailers, causing understandable uproar. But what are the reasons for retailers to abandon their print catalogs? Especially since, according to studies, print is still the most popular medium for consumers to browse for offer.

According to an IFH study from April 2022, around 76 percent of Germans read printed retail advertising at least weekly. Likewise, print products are used most frequently across age groups. A similar picture applies to Switzerland: promotions in print brochures can be an impetus to buy. When asked how often they go to the store or online store to buy a product after discovering an interesting offer, one sector, in particular, stands out: Swiss consumers often behave in this way in the food sector at supermarkets (54%) or discount stores (47%). 

Reasons for the exit from printed offer communication

But why are numerous retailers now opting out of this traditional medium? There are several reasons. 

Rewe, for example, claims to be acting in line with its sustainability strategy, because withdrawing means saving 73,000 tons of paper, 70,000 COand 380 million kWh of energy every year. The fact that sustainability and ecological aspects are becoming increasingly relevant for companies is already well known. 

The topic of "price" also plays a decisive role. Paper as a resource is becoming increasingly rare and is therefore subject to rising prices. For example, the price of paper has increased by about 10% in 2021 and even more since the beginning of the war in Ukraine. 

Due to the shortage of paper, fewer and fewer printers are probably offering brochure printing, as their services are easier to market in the packaging industry. 

Delivery reliability plays an important role here too: due to current external influences and events, product availability from distributors is not guaranteed. This clearly means that buyers cannot guarantee that the products ordered will be available in the market at the time communicated. This also directly influences the brochures:With less planning certainty, the investment in leaflets tends to fall out. 

But one particular trend stands out for advertisers: increasing digitization and the associated rise in digital media usage behavior. 

The relevance of digital channels is cited by most companies dropping out of print brochures: OBI, for example, wants to focus on its own app in Germany in the future. 

And what is the competition doing in the food retail sector? 

There is currently no sign of a complete shift away from advertising brochures. Even though it is undeniable that digital advertising formats are becoming more and more relevant.  

But which digital formats are particularly effective? 

Many retailers are expanding their activities for their own apps. Not only OBI but also Lidl, Kaufland or Aldi invest a lot to convey their offers as effectively as possible to the consumers. The basic problem here could be that consumers would then have to download the app from every retailer, which could quickly turn shopping planning into a tedious activity when searching for suitable offers. 

Independent brochure portals like Profital or Offerista are certainly more effective and time-saving. Aldi Süd, for example, shows that retailers are relying on this, as they have been investing "increasingly in the area of digital flyers for some time now, whether on the website, in the customer app, or on the well-known brochure portals. Consumers can find a large number of retailers on these portals, which makes the search for offers much easier. 

Personalized offer communication 

Another particularly effective advertising format for communicating offers is the shopping list app Bring!. Consumers don't make purchasing decisions in front of the supermarket shelf or while scrolling through their social media channels. Purchase decisions are made during shopping planning, which is why the shopping planning app is exactly the right channel for effectively communicating offers. 

Bring! offers an innovative solution for advertisers from the retail sector to address their products to consumers in a targeted and personalized manner. 

Based on the planned purchase, suitable retail offers are suggested, which then appear directly on the shopping list. As soon as a user puts bananas on the shopping list and they are on offer at the retailer, the user knows that they can buy the item at a lower price. The Swiss retailer Migros as well as EDEKA and Netto in Germany already rely on this solution.

The advantages of such a personalized solution are obvious: 

  • One app for all: All retailer offers in one app.
  • 1.65 million users per month in Germany and 340,000 users in Switzerland
  • 6.5 million shopping trips in Germany & 1.1 million shopping trips in Switzerland
  • Clear measurability of store visits
  • #1 shopping list platform

For more information on the personalized offer solution in the Bring! app, visit our website: https://www.getbring.com/de/advertising/retail 


The print brochure for offers has not yet been (completely) written off for many retailers. Admittedly, there are more and more players who have decided against it. However, the majority are focusing on a mixed form of print and digital, with digital measures gaining importance. In addition to retailers' own apps, important digital formats include brochure portals. At the same time, the shopping list app Bring! offers a very innovative format: Through personalization, offers are played out to the right person at the right time. 

Nevertheless, it remains exciting to see how offer communication will change in the future.


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