The digital age is creeping up on the Home Retail Group which owns the Argos business. Because they’ve announced a major revamp of its business to ensure that online retailers like Amazon, and others of its ilk, don’t get anywhere near their profits. As a result, 75 of its 700 or so Argos stores will close over the next five years as the company moves away from distributing those famously huge, heavy catalogues every few months.
With pre-tax profits for the six months to the start of September up 74% to £51.1m compared to last year, the Home Retail Group now wants Argos to quote lead ‘the market growth of digital commerce through online, mobile and tablet’ and offer a bigger range of goods for all. They acknowledge the market is fragile, but they reckon they’re in great shape as they head up to the peak trading time of Christmas.
Meanwhile, Sports Direct appears to be swimming against the tide of the general retail gloom. Just a few weeks ago, the firm bagged 20 JJB stores after it went into administration, and the firm has announced today that it’s cashed in very nicely indeed on all of us sports-mad Brits during the London 2012 Olympics, and the back-to-school period. Total sales were up 18% to £402m and gross profit was up 21.7% to £167m.
Written and presented by Marverine Cole.