Any stand alone Argos store that has not reopened since March will remain closed for good, the high street chain’s owners have revealed.
Sainsburys has given further details on which Argos shops will be the first to shut amid plans to close a total of 420 standalone stores. Sainsbury’s, which owns the high street chain, revealed that “any standalone Argos store which has not reopened since March will remain closed permanently.”
120 standalone Argos stores have not opened their doors since the first national coronavirus lockdown, which saw all non-essential retail forced to close in March, including standalone Argos stores. These 120 stores are part of a first wave of shop closures planned by the company.
A Sainsbury’s spokeswoman said: “While these stores have remained closed, many Argos colleagues have redeployed to help in other Argos stores and Sainsbury’s supermarkets. They will continue to do this during the consultation process, and we will do everything possible to find them alternative roles within the business by the time this concludes in the New Year.”
Sainsbury’s also plans to axe another 300 Argos standalone Argos stores by March 2024 as the company reviews its estate. However, J Sainsbury chief executive, Simon Roberts, has confirmed that 350 new Argos stores will be opening within the organisation’s supermarkets.
In a statement, Simon said: “Argos sales have been strong over the past six months and we have gained almost two million new customers as people have re-connected with Argos. Over the next three years, we will make Argos a simpler, more efficient and more profitable business while still offering customers great convenience and value and improving availability.”
He added: “We will work really hard to find alternative roles for as many of these colleagues as possible and expect to be able to offer alternative roles for the majority of impacted colleagues. Given the unprecedented circumstances of this year and the challenges facing our colleagues, including the changes we are announcing today, I have informed the board that if a bonus is payable, I will waive any bonus entitlement for this financial year.”