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gouden gids and witte gids from now on only digital

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This year, the printed Gouden Gids and Witte Gids came out in Belgium for the last time. After more than half a century of existence, publisher FCR Media is now resolutely moving towards digitisation. From now on, anyone who wants to find a company in Belgium's largest business directory will be able to enjoy optimum ease of use on www.goudengids.be.

Today FCR Media Belgium announces the abolition of the print edition of the Witte Gids and Gouden Gids. Since 1969 the telephone directory Witte Gids and the business directory Gouden Gids were delivered to the home. The 52nd edition of the print version of the Gouden Gids and the Witte Gids is now the last. From now on users will be able to search online for telephone numbers, address details and opening hours of shops and self-employed persons. In addition, they will receive a lot of extra information online that was not available in the printed editions, such as ratings and reviews, as well as more flexibility through, for example, the ability to quickly adapt opening hours and changes in service.

Strong bearing reduction

In 1999 FCR Media started with the online version: goudengids.be. Since 2010 they also actively offered users the possibility to unsubscribe from the paper books online and by phone. This allowed the company to reduce the circulation of the Gouden Gids and Witte Gids by 40% in one year. In the end, 700,000 paper copies will still be sent out in 2020.

 

Maja Van der Borst, Head of Communication at FCR Media: "Stopping with print is a logical consequence of completing our digital transformation process. Although the iconic Yellow Pages have been a part of our lives since 1969, they have become less and less relevant, especially in recent years. We have therefore decided to give full focus to goudengids.be, which already has over 4 million searches per month. We have also noticed that our online platform is becoming increasingly interactive: 58% of visitors take an online action. They call, e-mail, ask for a quote or buy. As the largest agency for SMEs in Belgium, we at FCR Media want to support the digitisation of society and serve companies with our digital solutions, such as websites and web shops, among others."

Minimal impact

The impact of the disappearance of the paper guides on FCR Media's operations is minimal. The freed up manpower will be used to further develop the digital story of goudengids.be. The loyal employees who worked on the print version of the Goudengids, are already partly working on the online version.

Goudengids customers do not have to do anything themselves. FCR Media promises them a smooth transition from print to online. Maja Van der Borst: "We want to guide our customers as well as possible to make the digital switch. That is why our team will look at alternatives customer by customer and adapt them to the needs of the customer, so that they can also be found optimally online in 2021. In addition, our team is currently working on a conversion plan in which the details of the switch will be laid down."

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