Argos boosts Extra roll-out in bid for single catalogue

Argos hopes to adopt a single catalogue model within the next two years, as it extends the roll-out of its Extra book.

The Argos Extra catalogue carries 17,000 lines - 4,000 more than the standard catalogue - and, according to the company, has been a big success. The Extra book is now available in 75 stores; 43 where the additional 4,000 lines are held, and 32 neighbourhood stores, where orders can be placed and goods collected at a later date.

The bigger catalogue will be available in 147 stores by July, and the acceleration may kick-start a nationwide roll-out of the Extra offer.

Argos Retail Group chief executive Terry Duddy said: 'Our plan is, over time, to get to a single format.'

The Extra model will remain the same, with some stores holding the entire stock and others offering the order and collect service. Argos will also consider offering its entire range online.

Argos piloted the Extra catalogue in January last year, and stores where it is available have experienced a sales uplift in high single digits.

The 560-store retailer plans to open another 35 shops this financial year.

Separately, John Peace, chief executive of Argos parent GUS, said the board will review strategic options over the next two years. This may lead to the demerger or IPO of Experian and sale of GUS's 66 per cent stake in Burberry.

GUS posted a 29 per cent increase in preliminary profit before tax, exceptionals and amortisation of goodwill to£827 million. Group sales were£7.5 billion.