Mobile accounts for a quarter of Argos sales, but overall sales decline for Home Retail Group

Mobile sales grew to account for a quarter of Argos's total sales, according to parent company Home Retail Group’s half-year results

Sales through mobile channels made up 25% of total sales for Argos over the past six months, according to parent company Home Retail Group’s half-year results.

Mobile commerce sales for Argos grew by 13% in the past 26 weeks, while sales through internet channels – including mobile – accounted for 45% of the retailer's total sales.

In its results, Home Retail Group highlighted the recent completion of digital Argos services Fast Track Collection and Fast Track Delivery, which allow customers to order online for same-day delivery or to be picked up from a Fast Track counter in-store. 

More than 80 digital Argos kiosks were also opened in the past six months, allowing customers to digitally browse, buy or order products to pick up from kiosks later in the day or week, bringing the total number of kiosks up to 148. 

“Argos continued to make good progress with its transformation plan, delivering strongly against its digital store opening programme,” said Home Retail Group chief executive John Walden.

“Argos also substantially completed the technology and operational steps necessary to launch Fast Track – its new home delivery and store collection propositions.” 

Walden stated this offering would grow over time and that the initial rate of customer uptake could “not be certain”.

This is not the first step Argos has taken to adapt to increasingly digital customers, having also introduced digital stores that use tablet technology instead of catalogues, implementing Wi-fi in its stores, and developing a digital hub to create more ideas surrounding agile and flexible ways of working. 

But the company's digital transformation does not seem to have stopped the retailer’s falling sales. 

Read more about digital retail

  • Retailers need to ensure they don’t lose customers in the digital divide between physical stores and e-commerce
  • This report highlights eight emerging technology trends in retail, some of the pioneering startups making them happen, and the data protection and privacy issues they raise

Sister company Homebase also saw an increase in its digital sales, which grew by 43% to account for 10% of the DIY retailer’s total sales. 

In 2014 it was announced Homebase would embark on a three-year digital transformation journey similar to Argos's, and over the past six months it has closed 25 stores.

Walden said: “Homebase delivered a good first half, with like-for-like sales growth and an improvement in operating profit. It also made good progress with its productivity plan and the store closure plan, in particular, which helped Homebase to achieve further cost reductions.”

Overall sales for the Home Retail Group were down by 2%.

Walden stated that a combination of investment in Argos’s digital Fast Track services proposition and uncertain customer behaviour over the Christmas period will lead to Home Retail Group’s yearly profit being lower than expected.

Read more on IT for retail and logistics