At least 75 Argos stores likely to close

Top toy retailer to develop digital offering in "five year transformation plan"; Catalogue to have a "supporting role".
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Argos is to be reinvented as a "digitally led business", parent company the Home Retail Group has announced. The retailer is planning to close or relocate at least 75 of its 700 stores as part of the move.

The plan was revealed in the company's half year financial report, in which Argos' like-for-like sales were flat at £1.68 billion.

Meanwhile, the retailer boosted its multi-channel sales penetration to 51 per cent while online Check and Reserve accounted for 30 per cent of total sales, making it Argos' fastest growing channel. Argos also boasted that it is the UK's second most visited online retailer with 440 million hits in the past 12 months.

In its financial statement, Argos said: "Argos undertook a comprehensive review of the business in the first half of the year. It highlighted the need to invest in and transform the business, repositioning Argos from a catalogue-led business to a digitally-led business, and restoring Argos to sustainable growth.

"Argos will develop its online, mobile and tablet channels to be the primary channels for interacting and communicating with customers. Stores and catalogues will remain important but their roles will be adapted in order to support a digital offer."

The five year plan is supported by a three year investment programme, targeting £4.5 billion in sales by financial year '18.

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