This year marks the 20th anniversary of Argos in the Republic of Ireland.
Irish shoppers first experienced the catalogue giant in January 1996 when stores opened at Mary Street and Nutgrove in Dublin and Cruises Street in Limerick. Four more stores followed that year. Over the next two decades, 34 Argos stores opened across the country. And in 2005, Argos launched its Irish website, www.argos.ie, which now has over 25,000 products online.
There is now an Argos catalogue in two-thirds of Irish homes and the company is one of the largest retail employers in the country with around 1,100 employees.
According to independent research commissioned by Argos, Irish shoppers favour traditional shopping channels. Viewing products in ‘real life’ and visiting the high street to socialise with friends were cited as reasons.
Overall, top factors for Irish consumers when spending money include a good level of customer service in-store, quick and convenient service, value for money and a large selection of products on special offer.
Over a third (33%) of people surveyed visit Argos stores regularly, compared with 9.4% who shop on their personal tablet and 16% who shop on their mobile phone.
The research detailed that the Irish consumer in 2016 is a bargain hunter, with 72% of women saying they love the thrill of finding a bargain, compared with around half (53%) of men.
But when it comes to the Black Friday Sale phenomenon, men are leading the way. The survey indicates that this calendar shopping day is much more popular with Irish men: 30% have bought technology from Argos in Black Friday Sales in the last two years compared with just 20% of women.
Argos Republic of Ireland operations manager Andy McClelland said: “Argos has been at the forefront of Irish retail for 20 years, serving and responding to the needs of the Irish consumer.
“The research details that we know the Irish consumer inside out and have done since our arrival here in 1996. We understand the Irish consumer’s desire to research their purchases well in advance and we champion their innate love of a bargain.
“Our catalogues are still a favourite in Irish homes and in 2015, over 1 million Argos catalogues were sought by Irish consumers.
“It’s also evident that our services such as Check and Reserve and Online Reviews are very important to the Irish consumer, with over a third (37%) of those surveyed reading reviews online before making a purchase. Similarly, close to three in ten people (29%) appreciate being able to reserve a product online before picking up in-store.
“It’s been a pleasure for Argos to serve the Irish shopper for the last 20 years and grow to be a leader in the toys, technology and home and furniture categories here in Ireland. We look forward to continuing to innovate in response to their needs.”