Argos has become the latest digital winner at Christmas, as more companies label their online offering the strand that brought them festive sales success.
Walden, who's been managing director at Argos for two years, is to take over from Terry Duddy, the long-serving chief executive who said last autumn he'd be stepping down this year.
Analysts have been weighing up how plausible a maintained recovery is for Argos, and other stores that have tussled with the digital shift.
Not so long ago Dixons and Argos looked as if they were not long for this digital world. Both have survived, both had good xmas sales.— Joel Hills (@joelhillssky) January 16, 2014
But it seems that, spearheaded by its online presence, its unusual splicing of catalogue and internet is still making the cut.
Argos and Homebase, Home Retail's two salient businesses, saw like-for-like sales up 3.8 per cent and 4.7 per cent respectively over the Christmas period (the 18 weeks to 4 January).
Total sales at Argos were at £1.8bn in the period, while Homebase's reached £464m.
Home Retail said that growing internet sales, and the fact that sales from mobile devices accounted for 20 per cent of Argos' sales (75 per cent growth on a year earlier), have reinforced its plan to make it a "digital retail leader".
From the statement:
Internet sales grew to represent 46 per cent of total Argos sales, up from 42 per cent for the same period last year. This performance was supported by growth in both Check & Reserve and also mobile commerce sales.
The group says it remains on track to deliver full year benchmark profits towards the top end of the current range of market expectations - £90m to £109m.