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Sales slump at Argos & Homebase

Home Retail has reported a fall in sales at Argos Stores in its second quarter as cash-strapped shoppers continue to put off purchases of consumer electronics and big-ticket household items.

Like-for like-sales at Argos stores open more than a year fell 8.6% in the 13 weeks to 27 August.

In a trading statement issued today the company said: “The consumer electronics market has remained weak and has again accounted for the majority of the reduction in Argos' sales."

Argos saw total sales fall by 7.1% to £859 million in its second quarter and decline by 7.6% to £1.7 billion in the first six months of the year.

DIY chain Homebase, which is also part of the Home Retail group, reported a 3.1 % fall in like-for-like sales. Total sales dropped by 3.8%.

"Overall, the performance in the quarter was in line with our expectations," said group chief executive Terry Duffy.

"Argos' sales continued to be impacted by the decline in the consumer electronics market, while at Homebase, after a good first quarter which saw strong seasonal sales, the second quarter was more challenging."

Duffy added that the group was in good operational shape as it approached the Christmas trading period and would continue to plan cautiously.

Source: The Retail Bulletin

08 September 2011
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