Home Retail Group deployed digital initiatives in online and mobile sales to grow its operating profit 15% over the past year.
Home Retail Group – parent company of Argos and Homebase – reported a yearly operating profit of £129.2m for the 52 weeks ending 28 February 2015. Sales increased 1.1% to approximately £4bn.
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"I believe the strategic plans we are pursuing across the group will enable us to innovate and lead in a rapidly changing retail market." said John Walden, chief executive of Home Retail Group.
“Both Argos and Homebase contributed positive like-for-like sales and profit growth for the second successive year."
Home Retail Group highlighted the success of several digital initiatives for the Argos and Homebase businesses.
Argos’s online sales accounted for nearly half of its overall sales for the year, and mobile sales grew 38%.
“Visits to Argos’ digital channels increased 23% to over 900 million in FY15 and sales via the internet continued to grow such that they now represent 46% of total Argos sales,” said Walden.
“Sales from mobile and tablet devices grew by 38% to account for 25% of total Argos sales.”
Argos adopts hybrid physical/digital approach
Argos especially saw in increase in mobile activity over Christmas, with its children’s Wishlist application receiving 70,000 entries.
During the financial year Argos converted 27 of its stores to its digital format offering click and collect services as well as self-help digital kiosks.
Argos opened several small collection stores for customers to pick up pre-ordered items. at one of several smaller locations including Cannon Street station, bringing its digital real estate to approximately 19,000 square feet.
Homebase saw the closure of 30 physical stores as its digital presence grows to include an m-commerce website and tablet applications as part of its ongoing ‘productivity plan’.
This, alongside an update to its online sales website, has seen sales through its digital channels to grow 10% over the last year, now accounting for 8% of its overall sales.
“The Argos Transformation Plan and the Homebase Productivity Plan are important strategic plans for the Group as we seek to innovate and lead in a rapidly changing and increasingly competitive market, and to secure long-term business growth for our colleagues, communities and shareholders.” Walden said.
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