Argos – the UK’s most prominent catalogue retailer

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Wholly owned by the Home Retail Group, Argos remains the UK’s most prominent catalogue retailer.

With competitors Littlewoods, Woolworths and Index all failing to adapt to the changing market demands of the past two decades, Argos has evolved enormously since their launch in 1973 – with their online arm now a key part of their operations alongside their traditional physical shops.

Currently, Argos is believed to have around 700 stores across the UK and Ireland, employing an estimated 51,000 workers and bringing in annual revenues of £4.2 billion.

Argos Stockport

Despite consistently performing above expectations, the business has reported significant drops in profits over in recent years – with Amazon’s stranglehold on the market thought to be to blame.

Primarily known for their high street stores, Argos also runs a number of out-of-town shops branded under the Argos Extra name. The company has also attempted to diversify by starting, at various points, their own television channel (Argos TV), a price comparison website (Argos Compare) and a shop format aimed towards the homeware market (Homestore And More) – all of these ventures were unsuccessful and have since been cancelled.

Although Argos do not sell own-branded products through their catalogue, they do stock a number of ranges by companies owned by parent company Home Retail Group – with electronics manufacturers Alba and Bush, children’s toy makers Chad Valley and now-defunct jewellery merchant Elizabeth Duke perhaps the most well-known.