THE end of the Argos catalogue is the end of an era for Britain. Here’s why buying the same crap from Amazon will never feel as good:
It was free
Free! Generously piled high in front of the store by the sliding doors, satisfyingly new and heavy, you could return jubilantly from your suburban shopping trip clutching something even if you were a teenager struggling to afford a McDonald’s thick shake.
You could circle stuff
There’s no real difference between an Amazon wishlist and circling your favourites in the paper catalogue before passing it to a generous aunt, but the former feels like a souless, automated process and the latter felt warm, caring and got you what you wanted.
No sinister tailored advertising
A boy could browse the catalogue for hours without anyone knowing he coveted Barbie’s leopard-print ra-ra skirt from her Weekend collection. Nobody was collecting your information in a giant database for future blackmail/a personalised shopping journey.
It was a handy weapon
Thick and durable enough to really beat a sibling into submission, if you had an Argos catalogue you didn’t fear your big brother or need to buy the £19.99 Bullworker.
Elizabeth Duke jewellery
A nine-carat gold engagement ring from the now-defunct range was the aspirational choice for a nation of knocked-up teenagers.
Purchases from the Argos catalogue came before the awkward knowledge that your short-lived plastic tat was slowly rotting the earth and trashing its future. You genuinely thought you’d always be riding that BMX.
They may have gone digital now but Argos got there first, Ikea, and we won’t forget it.
Truly random extras in the waiting area
The catalogue is only part of the shopping experience. No Amazon algorithm on earth would know that what you really needed were 10 blank Alba cassettes and a set of jump leads.