Consumer electronics sales continued to grow over the Christmas period, but failed to stop an overall drop at Argos as the credit crunch took its toll on the High Street retailer.
Like-for-like sales at the retailer fell by 7.5 per cent during the third quarter, with the firm saying that consumer electronics has continued to see positive growth, but that other categories such as toys, jewellery, furniture and homewares had faired much worse.
Its eight new store openings helped contribute 3.9 per cent, but fell short of preventing the retailer seeing total sales fall by 3.6 per cent. The situation was not helped by the 'addition pressure' the heavy promotion activity over the Christmas period, according to the retailer.
There were highlights though for the retailer, with it seeing internet sales growing to account for 30 per cent of all sales; two-thirds of which were part of its multi-channel service Check & Reserve for immediate store collection.
Speaking about the fall in sales, chief executive of Argos' parent company Home Retail Group – which also owns DIY chain Homebase – Terry Duddy said: "Our markets continue to be significantly impacted by a sharp reduction in consumer spending. Argos and Homebase saw sales declines for the whole period in line with those announced in October."