Customer Behaviour

The local business directory that helped JR Hartley find his book on fly fishing is set to go out of print. The Yellow Pages will no longer be published on paper from next year onwards, more than five decades after it launched in the UK.

Its owner, Yell, has announced that the first of its 104 final editions will be distributed in Kingston next January.

A year later, a final directory will be sent out in Brighton, where it was first published in 1966.

Yell, the UK operation owned by Hibu, is going fully digital and says that it hopes to “help a million businesses be found, chosen and trusted by more customers online by 2020”.

A household staple – and handy doorstop – for years, Yellow Pages was known for its advertisements, among them the JR Hartley classic and the one featuring a hungover teenager in desperate need of a French polisher.

Richard Hanscott, chief executive of Yell, said: “After 51 years in production Yellow Pages is a household name and we’re proud to say that we still have customers who’ve been with us from the very first Yellow Pages edition in 1966.

“How many brands can say they’ve had customers with them for over 50 years?”

Commenting on why the company is ending the print edition, Mr Hanscott said: “Like many businesses, Yell has found that succeeding in digital demands constant change and innovation. We’re well placed to continue to help local businesses and consumers be successful online, both now and in the future.”

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