Internet now 51pc of Argos sales

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Internet sales now represent more than half of Argos’s sales, according to Home Retail Group’s trading statement for the eight weeks to 27th February. They were up from 46 per cent last year to 51 per cent now.

ARGOSSSChief executive John Walden said this growth had been driven by the introduction of the FastTrack delivery service along with the digital concession model and improvements in the digital experience.

Mobile commerce sales grew by 15 per cent to represent 28 per cent of total Argos sales, up from 25 per cent the year before.

“In October we introduced FastTrack – market-leading propositions for same-day home delivery and store collection. Since its introduction, customer awareness of FastTrack has continued to grow and its operations are improving, with both on-time delivery rates and customer satisfaction now at leading levels. Along with FastTrack, the combination of our now proven digital concession model, together with improvements in digital experiences have driven increases in both digital sales and digital participation,” said Walden.

The group recently sold its Homebase business, and is currently the subject of possible takeover bids from Sainsbury’s and Steinhoff.

Total sales at Argos increased by 1.9 per cent to £515m. Net new space contributed 3.0 per cent, principally as a result of the 94 digital concessions and collection points opened within the past year. The store estate increased by a net 90 stores to 845 in the year.

The group said like-for-like sales declined by 1.1 per cent in the period, however the cannibalisation impact on like-for-like sales as a result of the additional new space was around 1 per cent and therefore underlying like-for-like sales were broadly flat in the period.

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