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Encyclopedia > Argos (retailer)
Argos Stores Ltd
Type subsidiary of Home Retail Group
Founded 1973
Headquarters Milton Keynes, England
Key people Terry Duddy, Darren Marson, Sara Weller, Matt Nelson, Kyle Abell, Paul Furniss, Richard Tompkins (founder)
Industry Retailer
Products Consumer goods
Revenue Sales - £3.652 billion (2005)
Employees circa 51,000
Website http://www.argos.co.uk
Argos store. Part of the Old Street Promenade of Light.
Argos store. Part of the Old Street Promenade of Light.

Argos is the largest general-goods retailer in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland with over 680 stores. Argos is unique amongst major retailers in the UK because its primary means of displaying goods to customers is via a catalogue. Customers can browse through the catalogue, select items to buy, pay for the items, and then collect the items from the collections desk in store or have the item delivered to their home. The Home Retail Group, formerly Argos Retail Group, is a holding company for the UK retailers Argos, Homebase and the financial services division for both companies, including ARG Financial Services, comprising of ARG Card Services (handling store cards such as the Argos Card), ARG Insurance Services (handling in the store... 1973 (MCMLXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday. ... Milton Keynes is a large town in northern Buckinghamshire, in South East England, about 45 miles/75 km north-west of London, and roughly halfway between London and Birmingham. ... Motto (French) God and my right Anthem God Save the King (Queen) England() – on the European continent() – in the United Kingdom() Capital (and largest city) London (de facto) Official languages English (de facto) Unified  -  by Athelstan 967 AD  Area  -  Total 130,395 km²  50,346 sq mi  Population  -  2006 estimate... A drawing of a self-service store Retailing consists of the sale of goods/merchandise for personal or household consumption either from a fixed location such as a department store or kiosk, or away from a fixed location and related subordinated services (Definition of the WTO (last page). ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Revenue is a U.S. business term for the amount of money that a company earns from its activities in a given period, mostly from sales of products and/or services to customers. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... For the album by the Kaiser Chiefs see Employment (album) Employment is a contract between two parties, one being the employer and the other being the employee. ... A Web site (or colloquially, Website) is a collection of Web pages, images, videos and other digital assets that is hosted on a Web server, usually accessible via the Internet or a LAN. A Web page is a document, typically written in HTML, that is almost always accessible via HTTP... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (2848 × 2136 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (2848 × 2136 pixel, file size: 1. ... Old Street is a road in central London that runs west to east from Clerkenwell to Shoreditch. ... A drawing of a self-service store Retailing consists of the sale of goods/merchandise for personal or household consumption either from a fixed location such as a department store or kiosk, or away from a fixed location and related subordinated services (Definition of the WTO (last page). ...


Argos own several brands including Elizabeth Duke[1] (jewellery, see below), Mikomi[2] and many others.[3]

Contents

History

The original Green Shield Stamps 'catalogue' shops were rebranded Argos beginning in July 1973. Green Shield Stamps were a sales promotion or incentive scheme designed deployed in the UK and Ireland to encourage or reward shopping, by being able to buy free gifts. ...


Argos launched in July 1973 with 1000 members of staff, taking £1,000,000 during a week in November.[4] Argos was purchased by BAT Industries in 1979 for a deal worth £32 million. The following year, Argos opened their Elizabeth Duke jewellery counter, and by 1982 were the UK's 4th biggest jewellery retailer. British American Tobacco Plc (LSE: BATS, AMEX: BTI) (BTI on the American Stock Exchange) is the third largest cigarette company in the world. ... For the song by the Smashing Pumpkins, see 1979 (song). ... 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


1990 saw Argos demerging from BAT to form Argos plc and the launch of Argos Direct, the home delivery arm. 2000 saw another re-organisation for Argos with the Argos Retail Group being formed following the purchase of the business by GUS plc, the introduction of white goods to the Argos Direct arm of the business and the Argos Card being launched. The initials PLC after a UK or Irish company name indicate that it is a public limited company, a type of limited company whose shares may be offered for sale to the public. ... GUS plc is a FTSE 100 retailing group based in the United Kingdom. ... A major appliance is a large machine which accomplishes some routine housekeeping task, which includes purposes such as cooking, food preservation, or cleaning, whether in a household, institutional, commercial or industrial setting. ... Argos is the largest general-goods retailer in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland with over 600 stores. ...


On 14 September 2006 Argos Retail Group demerged from GUS and was rebranded 'Home Retail Group' September 14 is the 257th day of the year (258th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ...


Catalogues

Argos publishes catalogues twice a year (a Spring/Summer edition in January and an Autumn/Winter edition in July). The catalogues are constantly expanding, and current editions have well over 1500 pages. Each page of the catalogue contains photographs of items, along with a brief description of the item, the price (at the time the catalogue was printed), and a unique catalogue number.


Catalogues are also backed up by seasonal sales flyers, offering Non-Catalogue lines and price reductions on existing deals. Other items are sometimes available in stores, such as ex-catalogue goods at reduced prices (especially after the launch of a new catalogue) and also in certain stores, Manager's Specials lines, usually delivery goods returned unused by other customers.


In early 2006 Argos trialed a new catalogue branded Argos Home in over 100 stores nationwide. This was proven to be successful and on Saturday 5 August 2006 it launched the second Argos Home catalogue this time in all 200 Argos Extra stores. The catalogue is aimed to pick out home furniture from the main catalogue and place a bigger emphasis on the fact that Argos sells furniture. Along with this it introduces styling tips for the current season along featured ranges. August 5 is the 217th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (218th in leap years), with 148 days remaining. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ...


Argos catalogues are fairly ubiquitous in British society, often there is one in every home. They are used as household price guides etc. A price guide is a reference work that contains information about the prices of, for example, coins, sports cards, or other collectibles. ...


The in-store catalogues are near identical to the home version but have been laminated. This was lampooned by the comedian Bill Bailey who called it "The Laminated Book Of Dreams" in his "Part Troll" dvd, in this he also described the staff as "the pale mythical wardens of the treasure" Bill Bailey is also the name commonly used to refer to a popular song with the full title of Wont You Come Home Bill Bailey. Mark Bill Bailey (born 24 February 1964, Bath, Somerset) is an English comedian, actor, and musician known for appearing on Never Mind the Buzzcocks...


Shopping in Argos

Traditionally, a customer will browse through the catalogue - either at the in-store browser points or at home with a catalogue, selecting items they wish to buy and writing down the catalogue numbers for those items. The customer then takes the shopping list of catalogue numbers to a till, where the cashier types them into the till, checks the stock levels, and sells the items, issuing the customer with a receipt. As soon as the items are sold, picking tickets are printed in the store's stockroom, and a member of staff picks the items from the shelves and takes them to the collection area in store. Meanwhile, the customer takes their receipt to the collection counter, and (sometimes after a few minutes' wait at busy times) is issued with their goods. Most stores have an automated "Call Forward" system in place, which issues customers with an order number and estimated collection time (based on the location on the stock room, however during busy times, tickets can be left for minutes before they are reached, making the timings inaccurate), and the customer is called forward to the collection counter automatically once the estimated collection time is reached, or sooner if staff override the system using touch screen keypads. Antique crank-operated cash register This article is about the cash register. ...


Recent developments in many stores are Quick Pay kiosks; touchscreen terminals where customers can enter their own shopping list of catalogue numbers, pay by credit or debit card and be issued with a receipt without the intervention of a cashier. This system allows people to avoid the sometimes lengthy till queues, however, currently only accepts most major credit & debit cards, as well as the 'Argos Store Card.' There are currently trials to extend this self service format to accept cash and the t card, however this is only currently in place in several concept stores. It has been suggested that Touch panel be merged into this article or section. ... Credit cards A credit card is a system of payment named after the small plastic card issued to users of the system. ... A debit card is a plastic card which provides an alternative payment method to cash when making purchases. ...


To ensure that stock is available when a customer arrives in store, they are encouraged to use the Check & Reserve service before going into store, either using the Argos website, telephone or text message service. This allows a customer to reserve stock until the end of the next working day, or order it into that store, depending on the store format. Customers who reserve items are issued with a reservation number, which is either presented to the cashier or entered into the Quick Pay terminal, where the customer pays for the goods as normal. Customers can also check stock in store using the Stock Checker terminals, saving them from queuing for items that may be out of stock.


There are variants to this system - specifically the Elizabeth Duke jewelry counter, and also the customer view system - which allows for customers to see the goods prior to purchase. Also, Argos has a home delivery arm entitled Argos Direct, which allows delivery of most in-store items, and also a selection of larger goods in the catalogue which are delivery only; customers can order goods in-store (with the assistance of a cashier) or online for home delivery. Argos are currently trialling a new store system that allows Argos Direct orders to be placed from in-store terminals linked to the website.


Differences between Argos and traditional retailers

The method of shopping in Argos differs from most traditional British high street retailers. At peak trading times (the build-up to Christmas), queues at Argos collection counters can be very long. However, Argos' success shows that many customers are willing to put up with these drawbacks because of the advantages of shopping at Argos[citation needed]. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Main Street. ...


Because most stock is held in stockrooms to which only staff have access, much more stock can be held per unit floor area than can be held in a traditional shop. Stock in Argos stockrooms is arranged to make most efficient use of the space - by range, as opposed to catalogue number order, meaning similar size items can be kept together, typically in 3 metre high racks with numbered aisles, bays and shelves for quick picking. In a traditional shop it must be displayed as to be appealing to the customer, however in Argos, as most customers shop from photographs of items in the catalogue or online. Argos often packages its goods in plain packaging or simple plastic bags, rather than smart packaging for shopfloor display. The fact that customers don't have direct access to most stock means that incidents of shoplifting and customers damaging stock are significantly reduced. Many parents purchase their children's toys in Argos as they have not been touched by a large number of shoppers and their children. This allows Argos stores to hold a wider variety of items in stock than a traditional retailer. This article or section is not written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia article. ...


Only a small selection of available items are placed on public display. Most products on sale are merely illustrated in the catalogue, similar to the sort previously issued only by mail order companies. Laminated catalogues are placed on display in premises on a prime retail street open during normal shopping hours. By this means, floorspace requirements and overheads can be minimised and cost savings passed on to customers through keener pricing[citation needed]. Most of the goods are available tightly packed over the counter, but larger items might be delivered straight to the customer's home a few days after their order is placed. Thus storage costs can also be kept to a minimum. Most Argos stores have small items stacked in the till area - such as water jug filters and light bulbs for customers to purchase at the tills.


Although the atmosphere of their shops is basic and functional, the catalogue normally reveals product details way beyond those that might not be legible in a traditional shop with ample display space and - perhaps - poorly briefed sales staff[citation needed]. The catalogues are also used as a price guide before shopping expeditions, enabling a shortlist of competing brands to be compared away from the bustle of the high street and the persuasive chatter of a salesman.


Store formats

There are 3 main formats of Argos stores:

  • Call & Collect - these stores hold very little stock, and specially order in products for collection by customers at a later date.
  • Traditional stores (referred to as Ordered In) - these stores hold the traditional Argos range (over 10,000 lines) and the Extra range can be ordered in from the warehouse within 3 working days, typically (depending on stock availability)
  • Extra stores (referred to as Stocked In, formerly known as 'Argos Superstore') - these stores hold the full range of items (excluding Home Delivery items) from the catalogue, including the Extra range. The Extra range plus the traditional range is approximately a third larger than the traditional range alone, so most Extra stores tend to be in out of town retail parks, where more space is available at a lower cost.

Some town and city centre stores are now holding a partial allocation of all Extra lines, sometimes reducing their stock holdings of poorer selling Traditional stock.[citation needed] It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Strip mall. ...


Company information

In the financial year April 2003– March 2004, Argos had sales of over £3 billion. Argos was acquired by GUS plc in 1998, and has its head office at the Retail Centre of Excellence in Milton Keynes. Argos is part of the Home Retail Group, which also includes the Homebase DIY retailer. GUS plc (LSE: GUS) is a FTSE 100 retailing group based in the United Kingdom. ... 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year of the Ocean by UNESCO. [1]. // Coated in ice, power and telephone lines sag and often break, resulting in power outages. ... Milton Keynes is a large town in northern Buckinghamshire, in South East England, about 45 miles/75 km north-west of London, and roughly halfway between London and Birmingham. ... For the former US home improvement store, see HomeBase. ... See also: DIY Network, a cable TV network. ...


Argos used to own Argos Additions, but this is now owned by the Shop Direct Group and is known as Additions Direct. In June 2005, Argos purchased the Index brand from Littlewoods but are not currently using it. They also purchased 33 former Index stores which were converted into Argos stores. Littlewoods Shop Direct Home Shopping Ltd. ... Index was a catalogue retailer in the United Kingdom, purchased by rival Argos in 2005. ... Littlewoods Shop Direct Home Shopping Limited () is a United Kingdom retail company, based in Liverpool, Merseyside, England. ...


The Home Retail Group demerged from GUS plc on 11 October 2006. The other remaining company of GUS, Experian, is going to handle the financial services that were previously Mark Industries.


Controversies

Sunday trading

In 2001, Argos sparked a political controversy in Scotland, when it sacked several workers for refusing to work on a Sunday[5]. This action would have been illegal in the rest of the UK, as the Sunday Trading Act 1994 gave shopworkers in England and Wales the right to refuse Sunday work (unless they were employed to work solely on a Sunday). The 1994 Act did not apply to Scotland as there was no legislation regarding Sunday trading applicable to Scotland. Although Argos later retracted its decision to sack the workers and to enforce a Sunday working clause in Scottish employee contracts,[6] their actions led to the passing of the Sunday Working (Scotland) Act 2003 which extended the legal right of employees to refuse Sunday working to include shopworkers in Scotland. Motto (Latin) No one provokes me with impunity Cha togar mfhearg gun dioladh (Scottish Gaelic)1 Wha daur meddle wi me?(Scots)1 Anthem (Multiple unofficial anthems) Scotlands location in Europe Capital Edinburgh Largest city Glasgow Official languages English, Gaelic, Scots Government Constitutional monarchy  -  Queen Queen Elizabeth II... Sunday Trading Act 1994 Buying and selling on Sunday had been banned in the UK by the Shops Act (1950), but after the accession of the U.K. to the European Economic Community, the ban may have been in breach of Article 30 of the Treaty of Rome as amounting... The Sunday Working (Scotland) Act 2003 is an Act of Parliament of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. ...


Price fixing

In 2002, Argos, along with rival retailer Index were accused by the Office of Fair Trading of price fixing goods from toy manufacturer Hasbro[7]. The decision reached in 2003 resulted in Argos being fined £17.28 million[8], however, an appeal in 2005 led to that being reduced to £15 million[9]. Argos boss Terry Duddy gave evidence along with David Snow, Jacqui Wray, Jonathan Ward, Alan Cowley and Ian Thompson [10]. As of 2005, Argos deny price fixing and are appealing the decision. Index was a catalogue retailer in the United Kingdom, purchased by rival Argos in 2005. ... The Office of Fair Trading or OFT is a UK statutory body established by the Fair Trading Act 1973, which enforces both consumer protection and competition law, acting as the UKs economic regulator. ... The examples and perspective in this article do not represent a worldwide view. ... A teddy bear A toy is an object used in play. ... Hasbro (NYSE: HAS) is an American toy and game company. ... 2005 is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


References

  1. ^ "Elizabeth Duke" trademark registration, UK Patent Office website. Information retrieved 2007-03-04.
  2. ^ "Mikomi" trademark registration (electronics), UK Patent Office website. Information retrieved 2007-03-04.
  3. ^ Argos trademarks, UK Patent Office website. Information retrieved 2007-03-04.
  4. ^ Milestones and Memories, Argos. Article retrieved 2007-03-04.
  5. ^ "Sunday roasting for retailer", news.bbc.co.uk. Article dated 2002-07-01, retrieved 2007-03-04.
  6. ^ "Argos Sunday working climbdown", news.bbc.co.uk. Article dated 2002-07-01, retrieved 2006-11-06
  7. ^ "Inquiry into toy 'price fixing'", bbc.co.uk. Article dated 2002-05-01, retrieved 2007-03-04
  8. ^ oft.gov.uk, retrieved 2007-03-04
  9. ^ oft.gov.uk, retrieved 2007-03-04
  10. ^ Agreements between Hasbro U.K. Ltd, Argos Ltd and Littlewoods Ltd fixing the price of Hasbro toys and games, oft.gov.uk. Article dated 2002-02-19, retrieved 2007-03-04.

2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... March 4 is the 63rd day of the year (64th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... March 4 is the 63rd day of the year (64th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... March 4 is the 63rd day of the year (64th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... March 4 is the 63rd day of the year (64th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For album titles with the same name, see 2002 (album). ... July 1 is the 182nd day of the year (183rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... March 4 is the 63rd day of the year (64th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For album titles with the same name, see 2002 (album). ... July 1 is the 182nd day of the year (183rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ... November 6 is the 310th day of the year (311th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For album titles with the same name, see 2002 (album). ... May 1 is the 121st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (122nd in leap years). ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... March 4 is the 63rd day of the year (64th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... March 4 is the 63rd day of the year (64th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... March 4 is the 63rd day of the year (64th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For album titles with the same name, see 2002 (album). ... February 19 is the 50th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... March 4 is the 63rd day of the year (64th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Related links

GUS plc (LSE: GUS) is a FTSE 100 retailing group based in the United Kingdom. ... The Home Retail Group, formerly Argos Retail Group, is a holding company for the UK retailers Argos, Homebase and the financial services division for both companies, including ARG Financial Services, comprising of ARG Card Services (handling store cards such as the Argos Card), ARG Insurance Services (handling in the store...

External links


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