Last week Argos revealed plans to open 10 pilot digital stores in Sainsbury’s supermarkets across the UK in a drive to bring ‘extra choice and convenience’ to both Argos and Sainsbury’s shoppers.
In a move which embraces the convenience of multichannel shopping and the latest retail technology (both of which we have written about many times here on the Barber blog) the new Argos digital stores will appear in a trial scheme in just ten Sainsbury’s stores across the UK – the new concessions will range in size, from 1,000 square ft to over 5,000. The stores will be open before the summer and according to Argos, they will be able to provide shoppers with a choice of more than 20,000 non-food products which can be purchased instantly in store, using Argos’ own display tablets – or reserved online for collection the same day or following day, from the Sainsbury’s store. In addition to this, further items – from a range of 40,000 – can be ordered in-store for home delivery.
Chief executive of the Home Retail Group – which owns Argos, John Walden, suggests that Argos’ new strategic distribution strategy is the main catalyst behind the move:
“Our new distribution model allows us to provide customers in any Argos location with a choice of around 20,000 lines within hours, regardless of the size or stocking capacity of the store.
“This strategic capability has opened up options for a variety of new Argos stores and formats, and the possibility that we can now cost-effectively reach more customers and neighbourhoods with an Argos presence.
“I look forward to the results of the 10-store programme with Sainsbury’s and to understanding the full potential of this exciting opportunity.”
Mike Coupe, Sainsbury’s chief executive is excited about what Argos will be bringing to the party – by increasing their offer to entice more customer loyalty:
“These 10 Argos stores will complement our supermarket offer, giving customers the opportunity to shop for an extended range of non-food items.
“They will bring something new and different to our customers, and fit well with our strategy of making our supermarkets more convenient.
“As well as looking at carefully selected partners, we continue to roll out our ranges of own-brand clothing and general merchandise in our supermarkets to give customers even more choice and value.”
Here at Barber we are always interested to see leading stores collaborating with each other like this – trying new ideas, crossing channels and using retail technology to offer greater convenience and a better customer experience. We’ll be watching with interest to see if this is a success and whether Argos and Sainsbury’s will be rolling it out to other stores across the UK later in the year. Watch this space!