THE owners of Argos have given further details on which of its shops will be the first to shut amid plans to axe 420 standalone stores.
Sainsbury’s, which owns the high street chain, said that “any standalone Argos store which has not reopened since March will remain closed permanently”.
Supermarket bosses confirmed that 120 standalone Argos stores had not opened their doors since the first national coronavirus lockdown forced them to close in March.
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.”
These 120 stores are part of a first wave of shop closures planned by the company.
Sainsbury’s plans to axe a further 300 Argos standalone stores by March 2024 with the company “in the process of reviewing our estate”.
But, J Sainsbury chief executive Simon Roberts said that 350 new Argos stores would be opened within the organisation’s supermarkets.
In a statement, he 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.
The Argos store in Western Road, Brighton, has closed for good
“We are talking to colleagues today about where the changes we are announcing in Argos standalone stores…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.
“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.”