Argos hikes prices

Retailer to increase prices by five per cent in new catalogue out this week.
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The firm is expected to increase its prices as a result of the weak pound.

According to The Guardian, 54 per cent of the 18,000 products in the new Argos catalogue, due to launch on Wednesday, are made in China, with around eight per cent from other east Asian countries.

The pound remains around 20 per cent below its value compared to the dollar of a year ago.

Chief exec of Argos parent Home Retail Group, Terry Duddy, has warned that prices would have to rise, and that retailers could not absorb the increases in import costs.

Argos is suffering from the recession. Operating profits were down 19 per cent last year as margins dipped by 1.5 per cent.

Last month the retailer said like-for-like sales were down 2.8 per cent on last year – though that was better than many feared.

Two million shoppers are expected to pick up a copy of the new catalogue when it goes into the chain's 800 stores this week.

Marks & Spencer has said it is also planning price hikes of two to three per cent due to currency movements.

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Argos sales slip

Home Retail Group reports sales decline since the beginning of 2010 of 9.4 per cent year-on-year.

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