Argos has revealed the “most exciting store in Argo’s 40-year history” – a tech-focused “store of the future”.
The revamped Old Street outlet in London was described by Argos managing director John Walden as designed to “support a digital future”.
Walden described the “digital future” as a future “in which digital channels are the primary interface for customers, but stores continue to be critically important as a national network for product collection and a local place for colleagues to provide customer service”.
The Old Street store is one of six to partake in the trial, with Old Kent Road set to serve as the lead location. The trial includes four existing London stores – Old Street, Old Kent Road, Chancery Lane and Marble Arch – alongside two brand-new shops – Colchester and Dunfermline.
A large focus for the redesigned stores is the meeting of technology and traditional retail, with digital signage and product ‘browsers’, which include video content, featured alongside physical editions of the well-known Argos catalogue.
Click and Collect services are also emphasised, with the Fast Track service claiming to allow customers to collect a product ordered online within a minute of arrival. The distribution infrastructure used to supply products for collection to stores has also been optimised to shorten delivery times.
The six trial stores are expected to begin trading before Christmas, but in the meantime Argos’ other stores are also beginning to embrace the digital world.
Mobile network O2 has agreed to provide free Wi-Fi in Argos stores, meaning customers can browse and purchase products online while in-store.
"We have seen strong growth in mobile transactions with sales through mobile devices now accounting for 16 per cent of our total sales," commented Walden.
"We know there is a strong appetite from our customers to have the convenience of accessing their devices on the move, in a way that suits them.”
"Free high speed O2 Wi-Fi in our stores is great for customers and it also enables our stores to provide even better customer service by sharing online content such as extended ranges, enhanced photography and even product videos with customers."