Published on 3 - May - 2012
Argos initiates review of businessArgos boss John Walden, who joined as managing director in February, has drafted in consultants and launched a full review of the catalogue retail chain.
Both Argos and OC & C Strategy Consultants confirmed to DIY Week that that the global consultancy firm is "providing extra support and resources to Mr Walden as he assesses the business" but would not comment further on the process at this stage.
The move has fuelled speculation in the press, with city analysts suggesting the root and branch review could result in the closure of a significant number of Argos' 700-plus retail outlets, following months of poor trading. A report by The Press Association said Argos had denied plans for widespread closures, although the retailer told DIY Week it would not comment on the subject.
Argos suffered another tough year of trading in 2011, posting an 8.9% LFL sales drop to £3,873m for the year ended February 25, 2012. The LFL decline was blamed on weakness in the consumer electronics market, although the retailer has been suffering falling sales since 2008. Argos also closed 12 new stores in the final eight weeks of the financial year, reducing its store portfolio to 748.
Argos' new boss, John Walden, whose career includes senior roles at Best Buy and Sears was brought in to provide a "fresh perspective to the future development of Argos", said Home Retail Group. He took the reins from Home Retail Group chief executive Terry Duddy who had assumed the role, while a replacement was sought for former Argos md Sara Weller, who stepped down last summer for personal reasons.
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