Argos sees strongest trading for a decade as the move to digital begins to pay off

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Argos reported its strongest trading in over 10 years as its move to become a digitally-led, instead of a catalogue-led, business starts to pay off.

Argos parent company Home Retail said it had seen strong demand for gaming consoles, tablets and TVs over the key Christmas trading period, with Internet sales growing to 46 per cent of total sales, up from 42 per cent a year ago, helped by rising sales via tablets and smartphones.

“Customers are looking for strong availability and immediacy,” outgoing Home Retail chief executive Terry Duddy said.

The firm said the most popular items were the new PlayStation and Xbox consoles, Appstar 7 tablet, and Teksta robotic dogs.

Across the sector shoppers’ growing confidence in ordering online for delivery to homes or to stores through “click and collect” services meant more goods were sold right up to the weekend before Christmas.

Dixons Retail, home to the Currys and PC World chains, said web sales grew by 23 per cent, resulting in a three per cent increase in like-for-like sales in the two months to January 4.

Dixons’ growth was driven by sales of tablets, kitchen gadgets and big screen TVs, with a particularly strong post-Christmas sale in the UK.

“We sold one laptop every four seconds on Boxing Day,” said chief executive Seb James.

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