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Argos to close Chinese joint venture after four months

Argos is to shut down its China business just four months after opening its first stores in the country.

According to The Times, the retailer has already invested £10m in the joint venture with Haier Group, its Chinese partner.

Argos owner Home Retail Group revealed its plans to enter the country in 2011. Since that time the retailer has appointed its new boss John Walden who is leading a refresh of the business.

An Argos spokesman said: “Following a strategic review of the investment required to further develop the Chinese business, alongside the requirements to deliver the Argos Transformation programme, we are, with our joint venture partner, proposing to close the Chinese business.

“This has been a difficult decision to make for both parties, since the China operation had only recently started trading.

“The existing retail operations will be wound down as efficiently as possible. At some point in the future, the Chinese retail market may still present an attractive long-term growth opportunity for the Argos model.

“We will endeavour to find colleagues affected, alternative roles back within the Home Retail Group businesses in the UK.”

It emerged last week that Argos is to shut down its home shopping channel, launched in summer 2011.

In 2009 Argos exited India after its performance in the country failed to meet expectations.

Source : Nicola Harrison – Retail Week

26 February 2013
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