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Sainsbury’s, owners of Argos, announced yesterday it will cut some 3,500 jobs, most of which will be linked to the closure of 120 Argos stores. It comes as another heavy blow to the British high street which has been ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic and shift in consumer behaviour.
Argos currently has 583 stores in the UK with nearly 300 collection points within Sainsbury’s supermarkets.
Chief executive Simon Roberts 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.
“We are talking to colleagues today about where the changes we are announcing in Argos standalone stores and food counters impact their roles.
“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.
“Right here and now, I and all the team are focused on supporting and delivering for our customers in the days and weeks ahead.”
Which Argos stores are closing?
Sainsbury’s has not yet compiled a list of stores that face the chop – but has confirmed that any stores which did not reopen following the spring lockdown will not reopen at all.
Express.co.uk has contacted Sainsbury’s for a list of store closures and will update this article.
Overall, 420 Argos stores are set to close by 2024, meaning there will only be around 100 standalone stores left across the UK.
However, Sainsbury’s has plans to open an additional 150 Argos stores within preexisting Sainbury’s stores.
There will also be another 200 pick-up points created.
High streets have suffered significantly throughout the coronavirus pandemic, with three in ten high street shops failing to reopen following the initial COVID-19 lockdown in the spring.
Changes in customer demand have led to a considerable bulk of the economy moving online, set to move even further that way with the current month-long lockdown in England.
Sainbury’s has recorded a pre-tax loss of £137m for the year to September 19 after being hit by £438m in one-off costs related to branch closures.
Digital sales were up 117 percent to £5.8bn, nearly 40 percent of total sales, while groceries online sales were up 102 per cent over the period.
Like much of the rest of the UK, non-essential stores throughout nation were forced to close back in March in an effort to stymie the spread of COVID-19.
Owing to the pandemic, the UK has had one of its worst financial years ever, even exceeding the impact of the 2008 financial crash.
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