Argos enjoys "good start to the year"

Like-for-like sales up 1.9 per cent in Q1 2013; mobile sales rise 114 per cent.
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Argos says it has had "a good start to the year" after posting a small sales rise for the 13 weeks ending June 1st, 2013.

Like-for-like sales increased 1.9 per cent, while total sales rose 1.2 per cent to £828 million during the period.

Total internet sales grew in the quarter, resulting in internet penetration increasing to 42 per cent of Argos' total sales, up from 41 per cent a year ago. Sales in the mobile commerce channel increased by 114 per cent.

Toys weren't mentioned, but Argos said consumer electronics performed well, driven by growth in tablets and TVs. The retailer saw declines in video game and audio categories, as well as a "weaker performance in seasonal products".

Terry Duddy, Chief Executive of Argos and Homebase parent company Home Retail Group, commented: "Argos has delivered a good start to the year driven by continued success in consumer electronics and electricals, supported by growing internet and mobile commerce sales. Overall, its trading has been consistent with our expectations. 

"Whilst we expect consumer spending to remain subdued, we are on track with delivering our investment plans to drive the long term development of both Argos and Homebase."

Retail expert Scott Dacko, associate professor of strategic marketing and management at Warwick Business School, added: "While Argos’ short-term results were clearly affected by an uncontrollable seasonal factor - namely the UK weather - their strategic efforts aimed at improving the retail experience for their customers are highly commendable.

"They recognise the importance of growing online sales and facilitating sales through mobile devices, for example, and overall, they are transforming themselves for the digital age. If they can further their efforts in supply chain management and data analytics to a point where they are able to respond even faster to unexpected developments affecting consumer demand, such as the weather, they will be in even better shape to meet the fast-changing demands of consumer retail."

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