For years, we've always heard stories about how digital technologies would help get rid of paper, but it hasn't really happened. The supposedly "paperless office" increased paper usage, and now for all the talk about how online commerce was going to kill the traditional paper catalog business, we find out that catalogs are doing better than ever, with more of them going out every year. The catalog retailers say that the the paper catalogs actually drive a lot of business to their online storefronts, and help get people interested in going to the site. Of course, it's possible that this is just a temporary blip driven by generational issues. After all, for all the talk about how the paperless office was a myth, more recent studies have shown that some companies are starting to reduce paper usage, and it may have just taken a generation shift to move those who were attached to paper out of the office. It will be interesting to see if the same thing happens with paper catalogs as well.
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