The great thing about Argos is that it’s more than just a store. It’s more than just a shopping centre. It’s more than just a brand. It’s more than a retail haven. It’s more than a place where people go to buy their groceries. It’s more than a restaurant; it’s a complete experience.
As part of its marketing campaign, Argos has taken the time to study local social distancing measures and chosen to implement them across all three store locations. According to the official Argos website, the company is working towards creating a “sense of social distance” between shoppers in all three locations. This means customers can feel more confident about patronizing Argos when it’s opened early and they don’t have to fight through long lines just to get to the cashier.
Argos Home Delivery has been given a lot of attention as part of Argos opening times. But do consumers really want to patronise Argos because it’s open longer? In a word: No. According to the official Argos website, “avoiding peak hours” is part of the company’s social distancing measures.
So why does the company feel it necessary to extend Argos opening times on certain days? Retail experts say it’s because they recognise that some shoppers may be more inclined to patronise an Argos store during prime business hours if it isn’t opened when the local store opening hours are occurring. According to one industry expert, Argos should be open for two weeks straight starting from Tuesday the week before the bank holiday. But despite that, experts say shoppers will still do the bulk of their shopping during the bank holiday weekend.
The Argos team says that this is part of their social distancing measures. However, the head of store marketing, Kate Moss, told the Financial Times that shoppers will still do most of their shopping during the weekdays. She also added that while sales do slow down slightly on weekends, it’s not because of customers, but because they simply move on to the next store. What’s interesting about Argos’ decision to extend its opening hours is that the majority of Argos stores are located on major roads and heavily congested areas like transport hubs and department stores. So what does this mean for Argos home delivery customers?
As part of its social distancing measures, Argos has chosen to employ its in-store locator system. This is where the retailer looks at where customers are and takes note of factors such as road congestion, foot traffic, bus routes and even specific areas of a city to ensure that shoppers can get there conveniently. When an Argos store locator determines that an area is too busy, it sends a car into the mall and either hold or drop off customers right outside the store entrance. The good news is that because no car is being used to deliver shoppers to and from the store, the staff doesn’t have to worry about navigating around traffic, which is why Argos home delivery customers can typically expect to be in and out of the store in a shorter amount of time.
The Argos store locator is also in effect an interactive element of the social distancing measures Argos has taken to combat sluggish sales. Each customer is assigned a number that represents how many people can potentially enter the store at any given time. Once the car drops off a customer, the same number is displayed on boards outside of the entrance. If a customer gets carried away with shopping, they are asked to come back another day. The goal of this system is to prevent in-store traffic from getting out of control and creating bottlenecks. The downside of this measure, however, is that it may require a customer to wait a few extra minutes to get into the store before they’re allowed to shop.
One of the newest, and arguably most effective social distancing measures Argos has taken to combat sluggish sales is to create a unique floor marker for every store location. These floor markers bear a single store name. The idea is to give customers something to remember their store by and hopefully drive them in. The concept is that when they leave, they don’t have to take a cab or walk through the crowded streets to find their next destination. If stores are successful with this tactic, Argos will have revolutionized the way retailers open for business.