The Home Retail Group had sales up
£125m or 2% to £6,023m, reflecting
growth of 1.5% at Argos and 3.9% at Homebase.
Argos made sales of £4,346.8 million (£4,281.9 million 2008) and a Benchmark operating profit £266.2 million
the year, 20 stores were opened and five were closed, increasing the store portfolio to 745.
The acquisition of the Alba and Bush brands in late 2008 has enabled
Argos to successfully reposition its own brand ranges in consumer electronics – particularly TVs and The Chad Valley
toy brand, acquired in early 2009, was applied to around 120 products in its first catalogue for Christmas 2009. Chad Valley
has already become Argos’ leading toy brand and in thelatest catalogue it has been applied to 200 products and includes extending its use to abroader range of toy categories.
Argos is also expanding its use of licensing, exclusive product lines
or celebrity brand endorsements, with examples of these expansion plans including Qualcast,Disney, Regatta, Mamas & Papas and Davina
represented 32% of Argos sales and over two-thirds of this or 22% of Argos’ total sales were customers using online
Check & Reserve for store collection, with this growing by 36% for the second year in a row.