Catalogue retail chain Argos is set to launch a new TV shopping channel this summer.
It has reportedly been allocated third position on Sky’s shopping channel behind the established QVC and Ideal Shopping networks.
The retailer needs to explore new commercial avenues following declining sales in recent years, caused largely by a reduction in consumer confidence in the last six months.
Managing Director of Argos Sara Weller commented: “The launch of our new TV channel will see us really delivering on our commitment to offer our customers a whole range of convenient ways to shop with Argos.
“Our ability to connect between channels means that the content we will be producing for Argos TV will also have wider potential applications online and in store, adding further to customer choice, value and convenience.”
Retail Gazette understands that Argos’s latest addition to its multichannel offering will be based in Kentish Town, using the facilities of kitchenware, DIY, home & garden and beauty retailer JML Direct.
Argos’s parent company Home Retail Group (HRG) lowered its full-year profit-before-tax estimate yesterday following like-for-like (LFL) sales at both Argos and its sister firm Homebase falling in the 12 months to February 26th 2011.
Homebase’s LFL trading dropped 0.3 per cent year-on-year, but Argos sales slumped 5.6 per cent over the same period.
Verdict Research Consulting Director Neil Saunders said today’s announcement represents a positive move by Argos, but the company will need to differentiate itself in a crowded marketplace.
“Home shopping is a market that has seen strong growth and it appeals to large number of consumers,” he explained.
“Argos’s stance on price would be appealing to this market and the platform will allow the retailer to display and showcase its products, remedying a weakness in its current model.”