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Argos plans store closures to focus on e-commerce

25 October 2012 - 10:40 by Graham Miller

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Argos will be targeting its customers with a renewed effort to encourage them to use its site for safe shopping online, with 75 store closures planned by the retailer between now and 2017, as it looks to the web for growth.

The Telegraph reports that Argos will be reborn as a company that focuses on the digital side of the market, essentially indicating that it will be looking to e-commerce to lead the way, rather than pushing the bricks and mortar aspect of its business.

Argos has seen a slump in sales over the past few years, in part because of economic pressures beyond its control, but also due to the fact that many people can now find better value via safe shopping online and have flocked to its e-commerce competitors.

Argos is still in a relatively strong position as a brand; 70 per cent of UK households shop there at least once every twelve months. However, its new head, John Walden, has set out to review the way in which the shopping experience is offered and could remove the somewhat archaic process by which customers order items from within the stores.

It is unsurprising to see that Mr Walden is keen to take a multichannel approach, rather than completely migrating the business to the internet. Integrating mobile services and allowing for click and collect to rise to prominence, should be able to give Argos a better chance of success in the coming years.

Argos managed to effectively match its 2011 performance in the first six months of 2012, but without growth it will continue to struggle. Many once famous brands have disappeared from the high street since 2008, but a renewed emphasis on e-commerce will help stragglers towards a nationwide rejuvenation.