Hot weather sees Argos sell more fans in two weeks than the whole of 2012

Home Retail Group, the owners of Argos and Homebase, has seen like-for-like sales grow at both retailers in the 13 weeks to 31 August (release).

Argos has seen like-for-like sales up 2.7 per cent in the second quarter as net sales space rose 0.3 per cent. Some benefit from the recent UK heatwave, as Argos sold more desk fans in a fortnight than in the whole of 2012.

Online sales now account for 42 per cent of total Argos sales, with mobile commerce representing 17 per cent of total sales.

DIY store Homebase saw stronger like-for-likes, 11 per cent higher despite a 1.7 per cent reduction in new sales space.

Terry Duddy, chief executive of Home Retail Group, commented:

The Group had a good first half driven by a positive sales performance in both businesses. Overall Homebase traded well through its peak period, while Argos continues to build on its digital leadership with mobile commerce now accounting for 17% of Argos’ total sales. At this stage of the financial year, we expect to deliver full year Group benchmark profit in line with current market expectations but, as always, the outcome will depend upon Argos’ peak trading period.