Argos has maintained it needs a 750-strong store estate despite growing calls from the City to slash store numbers.
Terry Duddy, chief executive of Argos owner Home Retail, said that having stores is critical to being a multichannel retailer, answering calls from analysts to slim down its property portfolio in the face of challenging market conditions.
Duddy said analyst calls for Argos to close stores shows a “complete misunderstanding” of multichannel retailing.
Duddy has spearheaded an internal review in the last four months, after taking over the reins at Argos when managing director Sara Weller stood down in April.
He said he conducted the review to find out “what the hell was happening” in Argos that has resulted in declining sales – in its second quarter it suffered an 8.6% slide in like-for-likes.
He concluded from the review, and customer research, that Argos was on the right path, but that it had to do “a lot more of what we’re doing and a lot harder”. “This isn’t about transformation,” he added.
Duddy said Argo’s current strategy is “right”. He said it would continue to focus on being strong in multichannel, offering a broader choice and attracting new customers.
Read more in this week’s Retail Week on Friday.