BRADFORD-BASED online department store Freemans has announced it is axeing the printed edition of its catalogue after nearly 120 years. 

With well over one billion copies printed since its launch in 1905, the buying bible has featured the likes of Lulu, Lorraine Chase, Yasmin Le Bon and Denise Van Outen - and, of course, showcased items sold by the retailer, including clothes, beauty products and electricals. 

But now, with more than 30 million unique visitors to annually, bosses have decided to end the acclaimed catalogue's print run.  

The announcement came as the business shared data to the six months to June 30 which showed sales were up 13 per cent year-on-year.

Stopping the print catalogue will reduce Freemans' annual paper usage by 650 tonnes.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: How the catalogue looked in 1975How the catalogue looked in 1975 (Image: Freemans)

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."

She added: "It's a significant step towards Freemans becoming the digital department store of choice for customer both new and old. 

"We have made huge in-roads over the last three years and its paying dividends as shoppers with continue to grow. 

"This is just the start - I promise you, there is loads more to come."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Back to the late-1980sBack to the late-1980s (Image: Freemans)

A spokesperson for Freemans praised the catalogue - but said times were changing. 

They added: "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 website offers a whopping 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, coats and lingerie - in many cases providing access to these types of goods for the very first time."