Argos softens poor trading at Sainsbury’s

Sainsbury’s has announced in its Q1 trading statement that its home retail company Argos’ Fast Track collection has grown by 20% and Fast Track delivery by 13% year-on-year.

This is in the face of otherwise challenging trading conditions according to the grocery giant, which saw grocery sales fall by 0.5%. General merchandise also fell (3.1%) and clothing by 4.5%.

Chief executive Mike Coupe said: “We continue to adapt our business to changing shopping habits and made good progress in a challenging market. We reduced prices on over 1,000 every day food and grocery products and improved our relative performance.

“In a tough trading environment, we gained market share in key General Merchandise categories and in Clothing, where we are now the UK’s fifth largest retailer by volume.

“We will invest in 400 supermarkets this year, including adding an enhanced beauty offer in 100 stores. We are accelerating investment in technology: 148 supermarkets now have SmartShop self-scan, 206 Argos stores offer Pay@Browse and we upgraded 29 more Argos stores to digital formats.”

The Fast Track network set up by Argos is said to have made the company of major interest to Sainsbury’s which is said to have acquired much of the Home Retail Group for that offering. Argos shining through the gloom makes the firm a sound acquisition.

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