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More than half Argos’ sales now multichannel

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More than half of Argos’ sales are now multichannel sales.

The general retailer’s parent company Home Retail Group said in an interim management statement today that Argos made 51% of its sales in the 13 weeks to June 2 through more than one channel. At the same time last year 46% of its sales were multichannel transactions. The company sells through 746 stores, online and through a TV shopping channel and its website is number two on the IMRG Experian Hitwise Hot Shops List of most visited ecommerce sites.

Argos’ online sales grew by 17% over the period, compared to the same time last year. In all, internet sales represented 41% of Argos’ total sales.

Home Retail Group chief executive Terry Duddy said the company would continue to prioritise multichannel investment, while at the same time taking a cautious approach to the future.

“Over a particularly volatile trading period, Argos had a solid start to the year supported by its multichannel performance, while at Homebase the poor weather conditions adversely impacted seasonal product sales,” said Duddy.

“At this early stage of the financial year we are comfortable with current market expectations for full year benchmark profit. We will continue to plan cautiously, managing robustly both the cost base and the cash position of the Group while prioritising our investment in the ongoing development of our multichannel capabilities.”

Argos’ like-for-like sales fell by 0.2% in the 13 weeks but total sales rose by 0.2% to £819m, with growth in sales of laptops and tablet computers compensating for declines in the TV, audio and video gaming categories.

At sister company Homebase, total sales fell by 8.1% and like-for-like sales by 8.3%. Sales of seasonal products were down by about 15%, as a result of poor weather conditions.

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