Toy World understands that a letter has been mailed to suppliers confirming that the Argos Autumn Winter catalogue will not be printed this year.
A message sent to suppliers, which has been seen by Toy World, reads as follows:
As you know, we have had to make significant changes to our processes and ways of working to ensure we do everything we can to keep our colleagues and customers safe in the current environment. This has had a particular impact on our Argos standalone stores which have been closed since 23rd March. We also know that social distancing is going to continue to impact the way we operate, and how our customers shop, for some time to come and we want to make sure we are running our business in a way that reflects the current customer mindset. Therefore, due to the lead times on the summer edition of the Argos catalogue, we’ve had to take a decision now on whether we should issue paper copies of the catalogue to customers. After reviewing this in detail, we have taken the decision not to provide a take-home version of the summer Argos catalogue this year.
We are aware that the catalogue is an important and well-loved part of our Argos heritage, and this is not a decision we’ve taken lightly. Typically, the vast majority of catalogues are taken from our standalone stores. As these stores are currently closed, and our Argos stores in Sainsbury’s stores are open for collection only, with no immediate view as to when and how this will change, this would naturally cause significant disruption to how our customers access the catalogue. Safety is also a top priority, and by not issuing take-home catalogues, we will reduce customer touchpoints and time spent in store. It will also help us manage customer numbers in store by preventing people making specific journeys to pick up a catalogue, which would be contrary to our current guidance to customers.
In stores with digital capability, customers can browse the range and shop via the digital screens available. In our stores that do not have this capability, some physical laminated versions of the catalogue will be available for customers to browse the range, although not to take home. Timings around the launch of the new range will remain the same, with the only difference being the lack of a physical catalogue. We are currently working through plans to leverage other marketing opportunities to ensure that the launch of the new range lands as well as ever, and we will share details of these as we work through them. You are bound to have questions on how this decision will impact you, so please do reach out to your buying team if you have any queries.
Finally, I’d like to assure you that in the absence of the catalogue this summer, there will be a number of other opportunities available for you to grow your business with us, either through Nectar 360 or other channels through our Marketing team. The buying team will be in touch to discuss this, and any other questions you might have on the impact of this decision shortly.