Argos’ ‘digital transformation’ on track as mobile sales soar

Argos’ efforts to transform itself from being a catalogue to a digital-led business appear to be progressing well with the retailer revealing online sales now account for 44 per cent of total sales.

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The “digital transformation” of Argos is at the forefront of parent Home Retail Group’s efforts to transform its fortunes. The group saw profit tumble during the economic downturn but returned to profit for the first time in five years last year.

Argos has launched improved smartphone and tablet apps, introduced new multi-channel options and new “digital concept” stores that replace catalogues with iPads and posters with LED light boxes and digital screens.

The changes are translating into increased sales at Argos, up 3 per cent to £4.05bn in the 12 months to 1 March.

Online sales grew 2 per cent in the period and now account for 44 per cent of Argos’ sales. Eighteen per cent came from mobile channels, sales from which grew 89 per cent in the period.

Argos’ performance helped Home Retail Group increase sales to £5.66bn, from £5.47bn. Homebase sales, which has also recently unveiled a slew of digital initiatives, grew to £1.48bn, from £1.43bn.

Pre-tax profit grew 1 per cent to £115.4m.

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