This well known catalogue store
was purchased by Great Universal Stores (GUS) in 1998. Since then
many changes have been implemented at Argos Stores, but these have
continued to promote Argos' core values: choice, value for money
and convenience. A TV campaign emphasised the Argos mission of providing
its customers with the best value for money and the most convenient
The single catalogue introduced in August 1999, replaces the traditional
and superstore catalogues, incorporating a wider range of products
(a 30%increase) to 350 smaller stores and rationalising the range
in the superstores. In late 1999, Argos was one of the first British
retailers to launch its own interactive TV shopping service on 'Open',
the digital TV shopping channel. Argos has multiple buying channels
including High street stores, the telephone, the Internet or TV
and the option of direct delivery accounts for 10% of sales.
After successfully piloting Argos Additions, jointly created with
GUS Home Shopping, and finding that product acceptance is high,
recruitment costs are low and credit penetration is high, it will
be made available in all the Argos stores during 2001. The merger
with GUS has expanded the products available to Argos customers
and in turn has introduced a younger customer base to GUS Home Shopping.
More future plans include refurbishment of all the stores so that
they are organised in the new format which consist of better store
layouts, queue management systems and improved point of sales technology.
Also the opening of 20 new stores; development of a range of financial
services including Argos' own store card enabling customers to earn
Premier Points on their in-store purchases for the first time. The
information generated by the card will be used to target offers
and financial services to customers.
Total sales at Argos of £2,057 million in 2000 were up by 7.2%
compared to the previous year. 2.5% of this represents new store
growth. Trading profit was £137.4 million, up by £20.4 million or
21.3%, mainly accredited to better product mix and terms from joint
buying with GUS.