Embracing the future - now.

By Charlotte Amos

May 3, 2013 | 3 min read

With so many traditional retailers failing to embrace change and look to the future early enough (e.g. Blockbusters and HMV) it’s so good to see a trusted old high street favourite doing just the opposite.

argos mobile tablet

Long has Argos been thought of as a traditional catalogue retailer – the retailer of choice for kids at Christmas who (if my childhood is anything to go by!) spend hours looking through the catalogue pages identifying their top picks for that all important Christmas list. But Argos have really embraced change and recognised changing shopper behavior – their quest to be a digital retail leader is really paying off.

It’s been reported that they have delivered their first like-for-like sales growth in five years and mCommerce has been a big contributor to this. Whilst multichannel sales as a whole increased to 51% of total sales, visits to Argos' website and app increased by 24% with mobile purchases making up 10% of total sales. Not just a pretty catalogue hey? In my experience, retailers embracing multichannel are the retailers that will win.

What’s more, Argos are prepared to put their money where their mouth is and are actively embracing the trend for ‘showrooming’ by introducing free wi-fi in-store showing the level of confidence that they have in the appeal of their core retail proposition. Wi-fi across their 700 stores will allow shoppers to browse the internet from their phones and tablets, and allow them to research and price check to get the best deal. It’s a risky strategy and one many retailers have showed concern over but one that Argos recognises isn't going to go away and they have to embrace it, not ignore it.

Argos appear to not sit still – it’s further reported that later this year they will pilot a handful of ‘stores of the future’ that will feature a number of innovations (what could these be?) sowing the seeds for future growth and ensuring that they come out as winners in the digital future.

I believe Argos is a great example of a retailer that has long adorned our high street as a staple favourite really making sure they move with their customers and maintain a business model that remains relevant. Argos – I take my hat off to you.


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