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Argos

 
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mark occomore



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:06 am    Post subject: Argos Reply with quote

Argos are going to move further away from retail to online with 75 shops are going to shut.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20054168
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ruddlescat



Joined: 16 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I suppose on line is today's equivalent of the old catalogue shops Smile
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Schizoidman



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A pity because I like shopping at Argos. In a sad way I enjoy filling in the numbers with the cheap biros and taking the form to the counter where the staff are always helpful.
I don't particularly like online shopping, having to give my email address about five times and then forgetting my passwords Confused It's quicker to pop round to the shops.
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RockitRon



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Argos has just completed a long and extensive programme of store openings, to the point where there is hardly a town in the UK which does not have one. Shedding 75 over five years - presumably the least busy or profitable ones - will hardly be noticed, although I suspect that the figure will rise, year by year.

The surprise to me is that they still produce a weighty, 1600 page catalogue twice a year, handed out free from stores like advertising flyers. Given the almost universal availability of the online version I wonder how many (or what percentage) of those end up, still in mint condition, in the recycling bins six months later. I have stopped picking one up for that very reason.
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Helen May



Joined: 10 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They closed our branch at the beginning of the year, so I'm surprised to hear that they have been opening new stores Ron.

H
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RockitRon wrote:
The surprise to me is that they still produce a weighty, 1600 page catalogue twice a year, handed out free from stores like advertising flyers. Given the almost universal availability of the online version I wonder how many (or what percentage) of those end up, still in mint condition, in the recycling bins six months later. I have stopped picking one up for that very reason.


My wife worked in the Buying Dept (on Children's Toys) at Argos here in MK for over 10 years. She told me that a typical pre cat-launch print run for the print catalogue would be 10 million. They would intentionally use three different printing plants across Europe on the "just in case" principle.

The scaling down of both the physical stores and the print catalogue has been planned for at least 5 years, although the current gloom in the retail market has precipitated Terry Duddy's announcement. A big problem with a print catalogue is that it's very difficult to react to competing offers; the supply chain is on just-in-time ordering where possible, but even then buying commitments are made 10 or 11 months ahead of cat launch simply because of the complex workflow involved in creating a new catalogue of that size. That's just crazy these days - and the reason why so many flyers are published.

My wife used to work on last-minute flyers for toys and also coordinating reactive TV commercials. Often, the agency is briefed on a Wednesday, with commercials being shot on a Friday and Saturday for post-production and transmission on a Sunday. Somehow, the print catalogue looks distinctly out of place in that context - as does the physical store.

Online makes things very different because buyers and marketers can push their latest offers direct to the virtual shop window in an instant and reactive pricing can be made much more streamlined.

It's a dog-eat-dog world though - and my wife's glad to be out of it!

PS: Glad to see that the Home Retail Group's share price has rebounded a bit. It's been pitifully low lately.
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essexlady



Joined: 10 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They also have a shopping channel on TV now.
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

essexlady wrote:
They also have a shopping channel on TV now.


All from a house in north London!
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R2Icon



Joined: 10 Sep 2009
Posts: 1444

PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ColinB wrote:
essexlady wrote:
They also have a shopping channel on TV now.


All from a house in north London!


Must be a big house. Where do they keep all the stuff?
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Ian Robinson
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Joined: 11 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

R2Icon wrote:
ColinB wrote:
essexlady wrote:
They also have a shopping channel on TV now.


All from a house in north London!


Must be a big house. Where do they keep all the stuff?

Duh - they order it off the internet, silly!

Wink
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RockitRon



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, I see now... http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/9631668/Argos-signals-beginning-of-the-end-for-catalogue.html

They plan to get cut down on the catalogues, and banish those laminated copies from the stores, replacing them with computer terminals and wifi access for mobile phones, and 100 "showroom" branches with the remaining outlets as collection points.

It'll make them look even more like bookies than they do now.

Three years, I reckon, perhaps five. They might survive out-of-town - they could share with Homebase - but they'll all have gone from the high street.
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RockitRon wrote:
They plan to get cut down on the catalogues, and banish those laminated copies from the stores, replacing them with computer terminals and wifi access for mobile phones, and 100 "showroom" branches with the remaining outlets as collection points.


Trouble is that it's the in-store stock holding that costs the money, together with the distribution infrastructure required to support it all. Online is cheaper all round, especially when suppliers undertake the fulfilment of the order as well.

RockitRon wrote:
..they could share with Homebase - but they'll all have gone from the high street.


Although Homebase shares the same head office building in MK, HRG has been careful to maintain a separation between the two. Homebase has separate buying teams (weirdly - considering that many suppliers are the same) and separate retail premises. I'll wager that HRG will float the Homebase brand when conditions allow - especially if the rumours of a takeover of HRG (primarily for for the Argos brand) continue.
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Ian Robinson
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I stopped getting the catalogues when they stopped using my illustrations! Take that, Argos Razz

But yet, I don't ever think of them first when I'm buying online. They probably need to change their image if they want a full transition.
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R2Icon



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ColinB wrote:
Trouble is that it's the in-store stock holding that costs the money, together with the distribution infrastructure required to support it all. Online is cheaper all round, especially when suppliers undertake the fulfilment of the order as well.


The trouble with that is, Colin, that the savvy internet shopper knows this. A lot of suppliers have their own websites - example. Joe Browns Clothes from Debenhams... I recently ordered a jacket.. the e-mail invoice from debenhams said - "delivery direct from supplier" , so I looked and bingo! There was my jacket £3 cheaper direct from Joe Browns from their own website. As internet shopping expands highstreet shops- even if they move to the internet are stuffed.

Argos are doomed.

Our building work is getting close to the end, inside anyway. I’ve just (yesterday) ordered a new tumble drier off the internet – free next day delivery ( it’s here already) and fully £95 less than our local Currys store – who couldn’t deliver it until next Thursday and wanted £15 for doing so.

The problem with moving away from printed catalogues is this. Sometimes when we’re bored, we pick up an Argos book and flick through the pages while having a coffee – especially the new ones, just to see what’s in there- sometimes even for ideas for this or that. Often during one these moments of near complete torpor, we decide to buy a bread-maker or a new toaster or whatever sparks the imagination at the time. Who in their right mind when bored would think …. I know, I’ll go on the internet and browse though the Argos website? People have given up on life and slit their wrists over far more fulfilling prospects.
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

R2Icon wrote:


The trouble with that is, Colin, that the savvy internet shopper knows this. A lot of suppliers have their own websites - example. Joe Browns Clothes from Debenhams... I recently ordered a jacket.. the e-mail invoice from debenhams said - "delivery direct from supplier" , so I looked and bingo! There was my jacket £3 cheaper direct from Joe Browns from their own website. As internet shopping expands highstreet shops- even if they move to the internet are stuffed.

Argos are doomed.


Many suppliers are import companies only who don't have a retail presence. My wife used to deal with a surprising number of one-man-bands who would trade in massive amounts of product. Of course, the big change of late is that Argos (along with other major brands) have a buying centre in the far east and buy direct from Chinese manufacturers. That will, of course, change as Chinese labour costs rise along with shipping costs. What did surprise me was how small the margin is on many lines - not just on the biggies like Apple, Sony, Hasbro, Disney or whatever but also on the secondary brands.

I don't think Argos is doomed, however; it's a very big company with a huge turnover and is the first place people turn to when they need to seek out products. Its online presence is very good indeed - especially in the way that it has pioneered the use of not only the web but, more importantly, mobile apps. They've definitely got that right - it works. They just need to be constantly updating their business model as people's buying habits change, not to mention the way that customers browse, reserve and purchase.

However, the big problem with the company is that, like many British businesses, it employs a lot of idiots in middle and upper-middle management. But that's a national disease!
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Helen May



Joined: 10 Dec 2006
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Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ColinB wrote:
essexlady wrote:
They also have a shopping channel on TV now.


All from a house in north London!


Is that Ideal Home Shopping (or something like that) Colin? If so I sat next too one of the presenters and producer/manager on our flight to Tampa last October.

H
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Helen May wrote:
Is that Ideal Home Shopping (or something like that) Colin?


I think you're referring to Ideal TV or something like that. Argos actually leased a property about 6 months before launch of the TV service and the facility is dedicated to Argos TV (although it might be operated by a 3rd party). My daughter used to be a sample photography coordinator for Argos and she arranged for the first set of on-air demonstration samples to be sent down there!

Like her mum, she's now escaped from Argos as well. Smile
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Helen May



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah I think that's it, you can tell I don't watch them!

The presenter was called Dave, I did recognise him as I think he'd been on QVC and does radio out of Bournemouth area. I Googled them later! They were doing a live broadcast on US items from Clearwater TV studios.

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I said it live on air in the studio with Jeremy Vine on 10/3/2005
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RockitRon



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Argos TV is being produced by ETV Media and broadcast on Freeview, Freesat and Sky (leasing a slot from JML). Orders are taken on a reserve-and-collect from store basis, apparently.
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mark occomore



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More work for the transport industry. With the cost of fuel going up - will the cost of your goods you purchase online increase?
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mark occomore wrote:
More work for the transport industry. With the cost of fuel going up - will the cost of your goods you purchase online increase?


No, because the goods in the shops still have to be brought in from the Distribution Centres by road, and all home delivery items either come from the Argos Direct centre in Penkridge, Staffs, or direct from suppliers. So how will change anything significantly?
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Helen May wrote:
The presenter was called Dave, I did recognise him as I think he'd been on QVC....


I was a Guest Presenter fronting some "TSV" (today's special value) items on QVC about three years ago, working alongside Dale Franklin (really, really nice bloke) and talking about up-coming video technology. My fees were paid by JVC, but we won't mention that!!! Smile

What I couldn't get over was the amount of knowledge the presenters have, and they have to rattle this stuff off while the director is talking to them constantly in their ear-pieces. I found it really distracting and didn't like it at all!
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Helen May



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This was the guy. http://www.idealworld.tv/dave%20bradford.aspx Seems he was on ITV, maybe how his face seemed familiar. Debbie Shore was also on the flight, can't remember the producer guy's name. Interesting people though.

H
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Helen May wrote:
This was the guy. http://www.idealworld.tv/dave%20bradford.aspx Seems he was on ITV, maybe how his face seemed familiar. Debbie Shore was also on the flight, can't remember the producer guy's name. Interesting people though.


Ah yes, Ideal World. I regularly drive past their building on the outskirts of Peterborough.
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ruddlescat



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mark occomore wrote:
More work for the transport industry. With the cost of fuel going up - will the cost of your goods you purchase online increase?


The cost of fuel has actually gone down today by two pence per litre at Asda with other supermarkets due to follow suit Smile
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Helen May



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ruddlescat wrote:
mark occomore wrote:
More work for the transport industry. With the cost of fuel going up - will the cost of your goods you purchase online increase?


The cost of fuel has actually gone down today by two pence per litre at Asda with other supermarkets due to follow suit Smile


According to USA Today on Monday their fuel prices should go down by 50 cents a gallon in the next few weeks. I bet ours doesn't though!

H
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John W



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So much reliance on on-line shopping and the internet.

What will we do when a Taliban Brainiac shoots down our satellites? Razz
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The whole point about the internet, from a connectivity point of view, is that it's a complex web that isn't reliant on a single means of distribution. It also has a myriad of server nodes and isn't in any way centralised. That's the way it was envisaged by Tim Berners-Lee and the reason governments have so much of a hard time controlling its use.

If a satellite was taken out it would affect tv and radio distribution, telephone and fax traffic, etc., but internet-based traffic would be least affected.
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mark occomore



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From Paper to Pollution. Very Happy
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mark occomore



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The company who makes those little pens will lose business too. I bet some of you picked up a catalogue then flicked through the website and purchased from there without going into the shop?
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mark occomore wrote:
From Paper to Pollution. Very Happy


Mark, you're not quite getting it. Shops need replenishing from the DCs by road, and the DCs are replenished by the suppliers' own delivery vehicles.

And do you think that printing an average 10 million very thick paper books has no effect of the ecology of the planet?

mark occomore wrote:
The company who makes those little pens will lose business too. I bet some of you picked up a catalogue then flicked through the website and purchased from there without going into the shop?


No, I go straight to my iPhone app, and my wife does the same. That's one thing that Argos spent a lot of money getting right a long time ago and the reason I said earlier that the closure of high street stores was envisaged as much as 5 years ago. Having search for and found what we need on the app, we then simply click to reserve and go to the store when it's convenient - or purchase home delivery items there and then. That's what a huge number of people are now doing.

So.... I'm not quite sure what your point is.


Last edited by ColinB on Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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