Last week saw the opening of the 50th Argos Digital store in a Sainsbury's – and the supermarket has taken the milestone as an opportunity to share some of its plans for the businesses it acquired in its multi-million pound takeover of Home Retail Group last year.
Sainsbury's has said it is committed to opening 250 of these Argos Digital store-in-store concessions over the next three years. There are also plans to transform 60 standalone Argos stores to the digital format. It will mean that by this time next year, over a third of all Argos stores will be digital.
Argos digital collection points are currently available to customers in 90 Sainsbury's stores for customers to Click & Collect Argos goods.
Meanwhile, there are also big plans for Habitat's new Mini format in the mix. Following the launch of the first Mini Habitat in Nine Elms, London, last October, the seventh Mini Habitat opened alongside the 50th Argos Digital last week in Kiln Lane, Epsom. Customers will be able to buy Habitat products both in the store and via in-store iPads.
There are plans to open a further 10 Mini Habitats during the current financial year, which will help the company asses the full potential of the Mini Habitat format in Sainsbury's supermarkets.
Argos chief executive officer John Rogers said: “The opening of our 50th Argos Digital store just seven months after we acquired the company shows we are moving ahead at pace with our strategy. Our cutting-edge digital capability is a core strength of our business and our decision to transform 60 Argos stores by March next year moves our strategy on further. Over a third of the store estate will now benefit from cutting-edge digital technology that will improve the customer experience, making shopping faster and more convenient.”
Since the introduction of these Argos Digital stores there has been a one to two percent uptake on sales from Argos customers shopping for Sainsbury's food, general merchandise and clothing. The Argos Digital stores themselves are delivering 20 to 30% sales growth, meanwhile.
Sainsbury's has revealed that more than half of all Argos sales originate online, and the retailer's digital capability is “an important differentiator and is key to its future strategy.”