Argos: We want to be the UK's No.1 toy retailer

Ups toy focus with increased presence in catalogue; Plans to grow Chad Valley and website.
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Home retailer Argos has pledged to become the UK’s leading toy retailer.

To complete its strategy it says it wants to give toys and nursery products an even stronger focus – and greater prominence in its iconic catalogue.

The chain recently gathered suppliers to its annual conference in order to outline its commitment to toys, which it says is a key category alongside home appliances and technology.

“Toys are critical to Argos,” said James Heese, Argos’ outgoing trading director for toys. “Our strategy is to be the number one UK and Eire toy retailer. 

“The catalogue is still critical for us – especially for toys. And our focus on these products in the catalogue will increase.”

Argos says it does business with 70 per cent of people in the UK. It indexes to families with kids the most.

The chain is also the second largest online retailer, behind Amazon, in terms of visitor numbers. It had 430 million visits in 2011/2012, and says over one third of its customers ‘shopping missions’ begin online. But it wants to do more digitally, with a website redesign and improved app in the works.

“We have work to do on our channels,” added Heese. “We want to offer better experiences than other businesses we compete with. Our strength is having such a wide range of channels – stores, catalogue, web and TV - if you use them correctly. 

“We want to optimise the web experience, maximise the mobile opportunity, acquire and convert customers with improved data, create a flexible social platform and develop it quickly and cheaply.”

The Argos-owned Chad Valley brand is the third biggest in the UK, and the retailer has further plans to grow it.
“We are excited about the future for Chad Valley and there are significant opportunities ahead, building on our successes in taking the brand into other areas, such as clothing and books,” commented Heese.

Earlier this year, Argos appointed the former Best Buy boss John Walden as its MD.

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