Multichannel retailer Argos has previewed a new-model digital store designed to reflect changing shopping habits and enhance appeal to consumers.

The changes – showed off at the Old Street store in East London - were described by managing director John Walden as “the most exciting in Argos’s 40-year history” and a “test of what might be the store of the future”.

There have been extensive changes to the store’s exterior, interior and mechanics to improve the customer journey, enable better engagement of customers by staff and speed up transactions.

Among the biggest changes are:

  • Use of red on the fascia rather than blue, and a logo mirroring the look of the Argos app. The store front reflects the local area, carrying the words ‘Hello Old Street’.
  • Traditional window posters have been abandoned and replaced with digital signage that may be used for a range of purposes such as branding, price promotions or seasonal offers
  • The use of browsers – including extras such as video content - rather than catalogues for customers to order from, although catalogues are available for those shoppers who prefer to use them
  • The interior has been transformed so that digital screens, which can display a variety of information such as special offers or services, become the focus
  • A Fast Track service enabling shoppers to collect product ordered online in 60 seconds from arrival at the store to departure
  • A single payment and collection point, rather than the old collection counter, making the purchase process faster and enabling greater staff interaction with shoppers
  • Easy to change modular display units designed to inspire shoppers and which can be utilized for supplier promotions
  • A hub and spoke distribution model enabling rapid supply of stock from a larger store, reducing the time taken to supply an item that a customer wants from between three and five days to same-day or next-day

Walden said that the new approach was designed to reimagine the store, improve product choice and speed of availability and to create “universal appeal”.

Stores play a part in 90% of Argos’s transactions and Walden said they provide an advantage in the multichannel retail age.

He said: “We are seeking to reposition our stores to support a digital future, in which digital channels are the primary interface for customers but stores continue to be critically important as a national network for product collection and a local place for colleagues to provide customer service.”

The six trial stores are Old Street, Marble Arch, Old Kent Road – which is the hub store – and Chancery Lane, all in London, along with Colchester and Dunfermline, which are new shops.

The intention is for them to be trading by Christmas.

The store was designed by Dalziel and Pow.