Argos has teamed up with Transport for London (TfL) to launch its first Underground store at Cannon Street Tube station. The new Argos Collect store, which officially opened today, has been designed to give customers convenient access to 20,000 products as they travel around the transport network.
Around 4.2 million journeys are made on London Underground every day, and the partnership with Argos is part of TfL’s wider plans to develop its commercial estate to improve the services on offer for customers and generate revenue that can be reinvested back into the transport network. This is currently forecast to generate £3.4bn over the next 10 years.
TfL’s public transport network is responsible for an average of around 11 million journeys every day, and its partnership with Argos is part of the creative and innovative steps it is taking to improve the services on offer for customers.
With the rise in smartphone use and the availability of Wi-Fi at London Underground stations, it is now easier than ever for busy commuters to make an online purchase as they travel around the transport network and collect it at the most convenient time for them. The new Argos Collect store will provide customers with a choice of over 20,000 products which they can buy or reserve in advance online, for easy collection within hours.
The Argos Collect store at Cannon Street is one of several new digital formats that Argos has introduced across the country, including traditional Argos stores converted to a contemporary new digital-format, smaller-sized digital stores, as well as concessions inside select Homebase stores.
John Walden, chief executive of Argos’ parent company, Home Retail Group, says: “Digital shoppers are increasingly demanding improved choice, convenience and speed in the fulfilment of their online orders, especially via click and collect – the collection of their online orders from a conveniently-located shop. Argos has been a click and collect leader, and we continue to innovate our offer with our new digital stores. They represent what we believe will be the role of the Argos store in an emerging digital future – modern and energetic, with larger ranges available within hours, tablets for easy browsing and ordering, streamlined in-store customer journeys including 60-second Fast Track collection of online purchases, and a friendly human face to provide personalised customer service.
“Our new Argos Collect format at the Cannon Street Underground station will complement our other Argos digital store trials, including converted traditional Argos stores, small-format digital stores, and concessions in select Homebase stores – nearly 50 in total in place for Christmas. Because of our innovative new hub and spoke distribution network, we can now provide over 20,000 products to any of our locations within hours, regardless of the stocking capacity of each individual store. The combination of hub and spoke with our multiple digital store formats will provide Argos with cost-effective options to potentially serve many more customers through many new locations in the future.”
Graeme Craig, director of commercial development at TfL, says: “Our partnership with one of the country’s biggest retailers, Argos, is another example of what we are doing to give our customers convenient access to the products and services they need as they travel across our network. The partnership will generate revenues that will allow us to reinvest in London’s transport network whilst also bearing down on fares.
“We have over 1000 retail units across our transport network. We are keen to retain a wide base of independent quality retailers that reflect the character of the local area and sit alongside pop-up shops, click and collect units and High Street brands, to provide our millions of customers with better journeys and the range of shopping options they want."
The new Cannon Street store covers only 650 sqft in total, with a sales floor of 170 sqft – roughly the size of a large kitchen in a typical family home. It will be open from 07:30 to 19:00 Monday to Friday, and 09:00 to 18:00 Saturday. Customer orders to the store will be filled via Argos’ hub and spoke network, with twice-daily routes from a larger nearby hub store using a fleet of new Argos vans and drivers.
The news follows John Lewis' announcement last month of the opening of its own first-ever railway station shop, at St Pancras International.