Argos’ multichannel sales buoy struggling Home Retail Group

Retailer Argos has revealed that its multichannel sales now represent 51 percent (£418 million) of its total sales, up five percent on last year.

Parent company Home Retail Group’s interim management statement for the 13 weeks to 2 June 2012, showed that the majority of the multichannel sales were made online, with total internet sales at Argos growing 17 percent to represent 41 percent of total Argos sales.

Sales via Argos’ online Check & Reserve service – where customers check stock and reserve products online to collect in store – also grew by nearly a quarter (24 percent) to represent 29 percent of total Argos sales.

Terry Duddy, chief executive of Home Retail Group, said: “Over a particularly volatile trading period, Argos had a solid start to the year supported by its multichannel performance, while at Homebase the poor weather conditions adversely impacted seasonal product sales.

“We will continue to plan cautiously, managing robustly both the cost base and the cash position of the group while prioritising our investment in the ongoing development of our multichannel capabilities.”

Although total sales at Argos grew by 0.2 percent to £819 million, like-for-like sales fell by 0.2 percent in the quarter ended 2 June 2012.

The company last month said that it is planning to refresh its website and develop new tablet applications in preparation for its peak trading period of Christmas.

The high street catalogue-based chain claims to be the second largest internet retailer in the UK, behind Amazon, with more than 430 million website visits last year. As well as the main website, the company has a web platform for mobile devices, and offers apps for the Apple iPhone and Android, to enable customers to order products on the move.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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