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Argos takes on rivals in smartphone market

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Argos has launched a new contract mobile phone service as it seeks to revamp its efforts in the mobile market.

The retailer’s new mobile phone store, www.argosmobileshop.co.uk, will sell smartphone handsets from all the leading brands including Apple, Samsung and Nokia well as offer contract tariffs with all the mainstream mobile networks.

Neil Saunders, analyst with retail specialist Conlumino told Retail Gazette: “With this latest initiative Argos is tapping into a market that, while growing, is already quite crowded with players. However, the benefit of the Argos proposition is that it brings together the various handsets and contracts under a name consumers are familiar with and which offers a good delivery option.

“Delivery and logistics have always been a strong point of Argos so I am sure this will be a strong point of attraction for consumers.”

Tariffs will start from £10.50 per month.

Argos has 636m website and app visits a year and is the second most visited website in the UK, and the handsets will be available for free next day delivery. The company is showing a strong sign of intent in the e-tail market, contrasted with Amazon’s decision to scale back on its free delivery service which has prompted retail analysts to suggest that it could ‘damage the company.’ Users have reacted angrily to the new £10 threshold, which will not apply to books, DVDs, music, video games and software products. A Twitter user called Wild Bill CH wrote: ‘Amazon’s £10 min on super saver delivery will halve the amount I buy from them.’

Simon Barry, technology trading manager at Argos, said: “We’re responding to the continued high growth in smartphone usage in the UK as more and more of our customers are demanding the convenience of shopping and keeping in touch on the move with portable devices. The number of sales made by Argos customers shopping with smartphones and tablets grew by 114% in the first quarter of the current financial year and account for 14% of our total sales.

“The service we are launching today offers any customer looking for a new mobile contract even greater choice and a great deal, all conveniently available through a dedicated website.”

The new offer builds on Argos’ existing Pay As You Go and SIM-free mobile phone range currently available in all Argos stores and online.

Published on Thursday 25 July by Editorial Assistant

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