|The Argos catalogue is extremely successful and offers more choice and
more products than any other catalogue retailer. However, things may be
about to change! In a move that will send shock waves through the owners
of Argos UK, Tesco are planning to move into the homewares, electrical and
garden products sector. They plan to bring out their own catalogue called
"Tesco Direct" , which, although not as big in choice as the Argos
catalogue, you can bet that it will grow and grow in a very short space of
time. Tesco accounts for one pound in every eight spent in the UK, and
their financial clout and enormous bulk buying power means that their
prices may be comparable to the products in the Argos
At the moment, Tesco has already expanded it's non food operations team, and in preparation for the new catalogue launch it has recruited over 100 buyers. Reports have shown that Tesco is about to overtake Argos as the leading non food retailer in the UK. Tesco have sales in the UK of around £32 billion! and their non food operations account for about 20% of this. Every year their sales grow and grow, with electrical sales up by 34% last year. At the moment though, the new Tesco catalogue only has about 9000 products, compared to the 22000 on offer at the Argos catalogue. Argos also have argos sports, which is the leading sport retail business in the UK.
Another reason to worry Argos is that Tesco have lower property costs than Argos does. This is shown by the fact that most Tesco stores are in out of town locations and therefore do not have the same overheads as a city centre location, which is where Argos extra have many of their stores. Argos must be very scared of what Tesco is doing, but hey, the people who benefit from all of this are us, the consumers. I personally hope that this kicks off a massive retail war, with prices being slashed, just like the current supermarket war. This is bound to happen, it's only a matter of time.
Unfortunately this retail war is not beneficial to everyone. Think about the suppliers, they keep getting pressure from companies like Tesco and Asda to drop their prices, and this happens month after month, every year. Suppliers cannot continue to make profit like this, and there will come a time when it has to end, or bottoms out. People who work at the suppliers will be lucky to get a pay rise, leaving them less money to spend on non essential items. It cancels itself out because they earn less money but this is offset by being able to buy things cheaper. Things are only going to get worse. You can bet that people like Asda are looking very closely at this, and don't be surprised to see them launching a catalogue as well! The earth will soon belong to Tesco and Asda!!
Ok, enough of the doom and gloom! A little competition is always healthy. Argos is the market leader in this industry, and their online presence has been a huge hit as well. The Argos online web site has won many awards, earlier this year they won the online retailer of the year and the customer services award. Argos has now won 9 retail awards in the past 5 years. The Argos catalogue sells over 22000 products for the home, and the catalogue comes out twice a year, with around 1700 pages. Argos serves over 130 million customers per year through it's high street stores and takes 4 million orders each year online and telephone. There is an Argos catalogue in over two thirds of households in the UK!
What does all this mean? It means that Argos UK knows what it is doing! There are many reviews about Argos, online, some good, some bad, but with so many customers shopping with them each year, mistakes are bound to happen, orders will get mixed up or lost, goods may be damaged or faulty, it is inevitable, but it is unlucky when it happens to you. The comments on customer returns I have read are very favourable, and no one really complains too much about the prices at Argos. They must be recommended because of their popularity and low prices, it's as simple as that, but get ready for the Tesco catalogue and the price drops that we can look forward to.