Argos has given two more of its London stores a ‘digital makeover’, designed to embrace the benefits of online shopping while retaining the convenience of a physical store.
The chain’s Feltham branch in West London and Staples Corner branch in North London have both been given a facelift. The revamped ‘paperless’ stores have a contemporary look, with tables of tablets replacing Argos’ traditional laminated catalogues, paper slips and pencils. Customers can use the tablets to browse for products to add to their digital shopping trolley, and access lots of extra product information, including extended ranges, videos, photography and customer reviews.
Shoppers can also benefit from new services such as the ability to browse and pay for goods online at home or on the move for collection from a Fast Track collection point in-store.
Staff have been trained to provide more help to customers on the shop floor using technology. New digital display screens and complimentary WiFi complete the digital transformation.
Research commissioned by Argos found that nearly half of London shoppers believe that one of the biggest benefits of online shopping is that it offers more choice. However, 65% revealed that they still shop on the high street.
Argos found that the changing expectations of customers in London mean value for money is more important than ever, with 71% of shoppers saying they are savvier now than they were five years ago. In addition, 54 per cent admitted to checking the price of an item online before purchasing it.
The group said that the new digital stores equip it for the online revolution, as shoppers increasingly browse and buy online via PCs, tablets and other mobile devices, while still wanting the immediacy of a local store to pick up their purchases. Around 44% of Argos’ total sales now start online. Sales from mobile phones and tablets represent 18% of the total sales.
Argos store manager for Feltham Clyde Fennell said: “It’s brilliant news for our local customers and store team that we’ve been selected to be a digital store and we’ve had great feedback already. Shoppers’ expectations and needs are changing, and they want shopping to be easier and faster than ever before. With the great new features in our store, including the tablet browsers and Fast Track collection, we can achieve this.”
In the financial year to February 2014, Argos sales were £4.1 billion and it employed some 29,000 people across the business. Argos is part of Home Retail Group.