Argos steps up mobile plans with online push

Argos steps up mobile plans with online push
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Argos has stepped up its assault on the mobile market with the launch of cut price contract deals via a newly launched website.

The website, www.argosmobileshop.co.uk, will sell smartphone contract deals with all the major operators including Vodafone, Three, Orange, T-Mobile and O2. The move marks Argos’ increasing drive into the mobile market and closely follows its launch last month of trial mobile store in-stores at five of its major branches.

The retailer is also tipped to launch an MVNO later this year which would put it in direct competition with Tesco, Asda and high street retailers Carphone Warehouse and Phones 4u. This latest initiative is aimed at countering Argos’ falling pre-pay sales and increasing competition from rivals including Tesco Mobile, Virgin Mobile and Phones 4u. The deal also sees Argos extend its relationship with A1 Comms, which is already overseeing the trial of Argos’ mobile store-instores.

Under the contract A1 Comms will operate the website and provide logistics and fulfilment. Argos said A1 Comms was ‘selected for theirexpertise and experience in the contract mobile phone market’.Argos’s newly launched contract service is aimed at the value market offering tariffs starting a £10.50 per month. The retailer is also offering up to £100 in Argos gift cards on selected handsets and promises next day delivery of handsets.

Simon Barry, technology trading manager at Argos, said: ‘We’re responding to the continued high growth in smartphone usage in the UK as more and more of our customers are demanding the convenience of shopping and keeping in touch on the move with portable devices.

‘The number of sales made by Argos customers shopping with smartphones and tablets grew by 114 per cent in the first quarter of the current financial year and account for 14 per cent of our total sales.‘The service we are launching offers any customer looking for a new mobile contract even greater choice and a great deal, all conveniently availablethrough a dedicated website.’

A1 Comms was unavailable for comment.

Author: Carol Millett

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