Retailer Argos is bracing itself for a possible workers strike just weeks before the launch of its new catalogue. The move comes after staff rejected a 4% pay offer.
Workers at four distribution centres have voted in favour of a series of 24-hour strikes followed by a four-day stoppage, which could lead to shortage of supplies at a time when a new catalogue is launched. The new catalogue is due to be rolled out end of this month.
In a press statement, Argos says: “We can confirm that we have been notified by the Unite Trade Union of the outcome of the ballot for strike action following their refusal to accept a 4% pay offer. However, at this point in time we are still waitng for formal communication from the union as to the specific action they are planning to take and when.
“We would like to reassure our customers that if we are unable to reach agreement and industrial action goes ahead, we have contingency plans in place that will minimise the effect on our customers’ shopping experience, both in our stores and online.”
The strike action is expected to affect four of Argos’ 15 distribution centres based in Basildon, Bridgwater, Heywood and Magna Park in Leicestershire.
HRG reported a 15% increase in underlying profits, earlier this year, to £433m for the year to March 1. Despite the increase it warned that its sales are set to fall as consumer spending slows. Like-for-like sales have risen by 0.7% at Argos, but have fallen by 4.1% at Homebase.