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Business News

Currys and Argos hail Christmas sales triumph

Online sales now represent almost half of all Argos' business

Currys, PC World and Argos have claimed victory over the festive period, with tablets, games consoles, TVs and white goods the big sellers.

Argos went one step further and claimed to have beaten its larger rival in electronic sales in what it hailed the best Christmas at the catalogue business for a decade.

Terry Duddy, chief executive of parent business Home Retail Group, said: “Our sales were up 3.8 per cent, but electronics did significantly better than that. If you look at Dixons [parent company of Currys PC World] their sales were up 5 per cent, so you could say we did better.”

He added that the new Playstation 4 and Xbox One consoles sold particularly well, followed by tablets — both for adults and children. A widely panned own brand tablet sold out and Duddy admitted the company should have bought more when one considered that Tesco’s sales of its Hudl reached 300,000.

Sales via tablets and smartphones also hit record levels, with one in five purchases now made through the devices. Some days this was as high as 55 per cent.

Over at Dixons, chief executive Sebastian James, when asked if he agreed that Argos performed better, said: “I don’t know and I don’t really care. They are very big in consoles and gaming, which we are not. It’s not very good business for us because we are not a toy shop.”

Boxing Day was particularly strong — sales reached £64 million with £100,000 a minute going through the tills between 12pm and 1pm. One laptop was sold every four seconds and a TV was bought every seven seconds.

Home Retail Group also confirmed that the next chief executive will be Argos boss John Walden.