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70% of Argos sales start online, new company spotlight highlights

Image © Argos

The first RetailX UK 360° report 2024 looks at how general merchandise retailer Argos, which was founded in 1973 as a catalogue company, was an early ecommerce adopter and launched its first website in 1995. 

Argos has been part of the Sainsbury’s group since 2016 and it now sells from a range of more than 60,000 products through what Sainsbury’s says is the fourth-most visited retail website in the UK, seeing an average of 1bn visits every year. Indeed, half of UK households buy from it each year. 

70% of Argos sales start online, with items collected through its own standalone stores, at Argos digital format stores within branches of Sainsbury’s, at dedicated collection points or ordered for delivery through its Fast Track service, which promises home delivery in as little as four hours. 70% of online sales are collected instore, with 70% of click and collect orders available for immediate collection. 

By March 2025, the brand expects to have 190 standalone Argos stores, up to 460 shops within branches of Sainsbury’s and up to 500 collection points. This reflects the continuation of a strategy to cut operating costs at the brand and boost profitability. 

In its latest full-year figures, for the 52 weeks to 2 March 2024, J Sainsbury plc reports pre-tax profits of £277mn (-15.3%) on group revenue of £32.7bn (+3.8%). Argos sales were 1.6% up on the previous year. 

The strategy for Argos is now to improve customer awareness of its range, convenient customer experience and value in order to encourage shoppers to buy more products, more frequently. Sainsbury’s will focus on improving its digital capabilities through its website, app and customer relationship management in order to improve traffic, basket spend and conversion. 

According to Sainsbury’s full-year results statement, the aim is “to build customer engagement through improving our digital, loyalty and services experiences. We will continue to refine our operating model in stores and deliver better availability and service at a lower cost to serve.” 

Its strategy is reflected on its transactional website, where the Argos brand emphasises convenient fulfilment options including same- or next-day delivery and a range that extends from technology and furniture, to toys, clothing and health and beauty products. Its homepage also features a store finder showing the locations where shoppers can collect their orders.

The front cover of the UK 360 Ecommerce Report

The RetailX UK 360° report 2024 offers a briefing on the UK market as a whole, on how shoppers buy and want to buy, on the retailers, brands and marketplaces that are succeeding in this market, and the services that the most successful provide to their customers. 

This report gives an all-round view of this mature market to retail businesses, whether they already trade in this market or are considering a move into or expansion within this market.

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