Home Retail group, the parent company of Argos, stated that click and collect buying has taken off in the past year as online purchases have greatly boosted the company’s profits. Over half of all Argos purchases will be completed online according to estimates from the click and collect company. The business saw its sales increase by 2% up to £4bn after years of a steady decline and many suggestions that the catalogue based business would be the next casualty of the declining high street.
Despite these negative predictions, the company actually saw its shares increase by about 12%. Chief Executive of Home Retail Group, Terry Duddy, stated that are the moment online sales make up about 42% of Argos’ business and they believe that by 2015 this number will jump up to 50%.
He added that they first introduced the idea of click and collect back in 2000, but it has taken a few years for the service to truly jump off. He added that since then other businesses have followed their example, but they are not too concerned about the competition.
Many retailers view click and collect as the only way to save the high street since it will allow customers the ease of shopping online but the instant availability of items as they can pick up whatever they order from their local stores.
Duddy also added that the company saw an increase in sales after its rival Comet folded. He said that in the eight weeks following Comet’s close they saw their sales increase by almost 5%. In particular they saw an increase in the amount of tablet sales they made which came almost completely from their online sales. In 2009 online sales only accounted for 28% of business versus the 43% they make up today.