Retail news round-up on January 14, 2014: Argos boss John Walden tipped for Home Retail job, Asos achieves strong Christmas and Dixons signs new marketing agency.

Argos boss John Walden tipped to take Home Retail top job

Argos owner Home Retail Group is likely to appoint the multichannel retailer’s boss John Walden as its new group chief executive, Sky News understands. This move could put an end to a four-month search for a replacement to Terry Duddy, the long-serving group chief executive who will step down this year.

According to insiders, the board’s preferred candidate to take the position was Walden, who came to Argos as managing director nearly two years ago. An announcement could be made alongside Home Retail’s Christmas trading update on January 16, they added. His nomination as group chief executive remains subject to final board approval and might be delayed beyond this week, another source said. Previously, Walden worked at US electrical goods group Best Buy and Sears.

Asos reports Christmas sales surge

Fashion etailer Asos has reported a jump in festive spending as retail sales rose 38% in the four months to December 31. Asos said its UK arm was up 37% and international sales rose 38%. Asos chief executive Nick Robertson said: “We have enjoyed another strong Christmas and made a good start to the financial year, with retail sales growth for the four months to December 31, 2013 up 38% to £335.7m.

“These results were driven by significant improvements to our customer proposition, including better delivery options, additional payment methods and the roll out of our premier service in key international markets.”

Dixons Retail taps AMV BBDO as lead creative and strategic agency

Dixons Retail has hired AMV BBDO as its lead creative and strategic agency for the UK and Ireland. AMV BBDO replaces M&C Saatchi, who previously held the account. Dixons Retail’s head of brand communications Benjamin Kaye said: “We are delighted to have AMV on board as we look to revitalise our UK marketing and advertising.”