Argos catalogue to make way for new online era

Kasmira Jefford
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ARGOS yesterday unveiled a five-year turnaround plan that will see it distance itself from its trademark printed catalogue business and become a “digital-led” retail chain.

John Walden, Argos’ new managing director, said it will cut the circulation of its 40 year-old bi-annual catalogue and eventually replace laminated versions in store with web-based browsers.

It also plans to install Wi-Fi in stores, introduce fast-track queues for shoppers who order online and speed up its collection and delivery services.

Some 75 stores will close or be relocated over the next five years. Argos will invest around £100m annually over the next three years and aims to generate £4.5bn of sales by 2018.

“It is pretty ambitious but we are confident it is achievable,” said Walden. He also wants to attract more affluent shoppers and widen its appeal, in part by doubling the sales of own-branded products to a third of sales by 2018.

The plan came as Argos owner Home Retail Group said first half pre-tax profits fell 37 per cent to £18m on sales down one per cent to £2.5bn.