Argos’ like-for-like sales remained broadly flat for the 18 weeks to January 3rd, 2015, while Black Friday ‘significantly impacted’ sales over Christmas.
The group has reported sales of £1.82 billion for the 18 weeks leading to January 3rd this year, seeing an increase of 0.8 per cent.
According to Home Retail Group’s chief executive, John Walden, this year’s adoption of Black Friday promotions by the UK ‘significantly impacted the shape of Argos’ sales over its peak trading period.’
“For example, on the day alone sales at Argos were up by 45 per cent, while at the same time, it received over 13.5 million visitors to its digital channels, three times last year’s visitors,” he said.
“The draw of discounts affected trade both before and after that busy weekend as consumers satisfied their Christmas shopping lists with bargains.”
Argos adopted a cautious trading stance over the Black Friday period, in anticipation of the volatility on trading patterns and the profit pressure cause by aggressive promotions.
“This resulted in broadly flat like-for-like sales, but achieved both improved gross margins and good cost management,” continued Walden.
“Argos also made good progress during the period on its transformation plan to reinvent itself as a digital leader, as sales through digital channels increased to represent half of Argos’ total sales.”
Despite the resulting flat like-for-like sales, Walden has said he is pleased with the group’s overall performance during its ‘important peak trading period.’