Argos staying silent on new business plan

Retail giant Argos has declined to comment on whether any of its Irish stores, including the firm’s Longford town outlet, is likely to be affected by major cost saving plans.

A spokesperson said representatives from its parent company, Home Retail, would not be engaging in any public dialogue at this stage as it looks to move from a catalogue structured enterprise to one more geared towards the digital network.

At present, the home retail chain, has over 700 stores throughout Ireland and the UK. Forty of those branches are located here with a further 27 in the North, employing 1,400 people.

The large scale business review is part of Argos’ wider bid to capitalise on its growing online market share.

According to recent figures, the chain is currently the second most visited internet retailer in Britain, and mobile shopping represented seven per cent of its total sales in the first half of its current financial year.

It’s anticpated all 739 of its stores, encompassing those in Longford and Cavan, will be assessed as in terms of their current lease arrangements, and reviewed on areas such as appeal of location, turnover and just how each are likely to complement its new business concept going forward.

Half year results, published last week, showed sales figures had fallen one per cent to £2.53bn for the six months up until the beginning of September.

The review, which is expected to involve the launch of a digital catalogue before Christmas, also forms part of the organisation’s attempts to reach a sales target of £4.5bn (€5.6m) by 2018.

“The transformation plan aims to deliver growthby repositioning Argos as a digitally-led business from a catalogue-led business, leading the market growth of digital commerce online, mobile and tablet, and offering customers more products with the fastest, most convenient fulfilment options,” said Home Retail’s chief executive, Terry Duddy.




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