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Argos ramps up revamp activity

General merchandise store Argos has begun a huge revamp of its business in a five year plan that will see it invest heavily over the next five years.

The retailer, which is owned by Home Retail Group and enjoys 124m store customers, will spend half a billion pounds over five years in a bid to recapture the success of its 90’s heyday. It has fallen behind the e-commerce boom spearheaded by Amazon and eBay but is now ready to fight back and reinvent itself.

It started a trial in the North-East this month by launching its first interactive catalogue which uses image recognition technology and also begun the rolling out of its own smartphone service. Argos said that the catalogue trial is going well but was reluctant to comment further.

The new plans could herald a change of tactics for the catalogue merchant as it aims to represent Britain in the fight for e-commerce market share. Argos “want to appeal to a more upmarket audience,” said one consultant. “They’ve already invested £50m in their website alone.”

Former Amazon executive Bertrand Bodson joined last month to head up the digital side of the business which will see a huge reinvention, with Click & Collect expected to be improved.

Source : Michael Somerville – Retail Gazette
www.retailgazette.co.uk/articles/32242-diary-watch-argos

23 August 2013
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