Argos Competitive Strategy

3146 Words13 Pages
5th March 2012

Argos History
Founded in 1973 by Richard Thomkins, Argos is the largest general-goods retailer in the United Kingdom and Ireland with over 751 stores (1). It was then acquired by GUS plc in 1998 and subsequently became part of Home Retail Group, which was demerged from its parent company, GUS plc, with effect from 10 October 2006 (2).
A non-specialized store, Argos carries over 35,000 different household goods such as furniture, toys & games, electronics, jewelry, sports, leisure equipment and PCs. Currently it is the leading UK retailer of toys, small electronics and jewellery (3), and has a significant market share in ‘Do It Yourself’ (DIY) and sports equipment (Exhibit 1). Nowadays, the company boasts over
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Since Argos displays goods primarily through the form of a catalogue, customers make their selection by looking through the offerings, then they check the availability of the item through the advanced computerized inventory system, pay for the item(s) and then either collect the goods themselves or have them delivered by Argos. The Internet has played an important role in the company’s development. In 1995 the Argos website was launched, and has been continuously developing its online services ever since. Today it is the second most visited website in the UK, with 400M visits per year (8). Since December 1999, Argos customers have been able to use the “Click & Collect” service via the website, or similarly, as of 2008, the “Text & Take Home” mobile service allows ordering via smartphone (9). Theses methods of including the customers in the over-all service helps keep staff levels low (see Exhibit 4) as there are no products actually on display in the stores, which therefore do not require time-consuming maintenance, costly displays, restocking, security etc. Not only that, but because all of the stock is held in stockrooms to which only staff have access, the stores themselves don’t require huge floor space, which saves the company from spending exorbitant sums of cash on large expensive retail properties.
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