Re-focussing a company's culture and marketing mix
An Argos case study

Page 0: Introduction

Argos is one of the UK's largest non-food retail chains, with annual sales exceeding £3bn. It has more than 540 stores throughout the UK and Ireland, and approximately 95% of the GB population live within 10 miles of one of its outlets. The company was founded in 1973. By 1998 it was experiencing disappointing profits and sales. This prompted a hostile takeover by GUS plc, which now also owns...
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Page 1: Changing the culture at Argos

A company's culture is based on the values and beliefs that are shared across the organisation. It is challenging yet essential to ensure the organisation's culture reflects its strategy and focus on the customer. A key element of the new approach has been to change the corporate culture at Argos and build an environment within the firm that values: customer service which focuses providing an...
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Page 2: Building a team

Argos also continues to work at building what it calls its 'employer brand' - a clear set of values representing the attitudes and beliefs of its employees. In 2003, after consultations with staff, these values were stated as: change makes us better and more successful we are impatient to win as much opportunity as you can handle where teams work. The new management team have managed to...
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Page 3: The marketing mix at Argos

As well as changing the culture at Argos, management appreciated the need to change the extended marketing mix to improve the customer experience. Argos has always been associated with 'low prices, more choice, less hassle'. The management team wanted to build on these values and develop the marketing mix to boost the company's sales and profits. The product Market research following the...
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Page 4: Extended marketing mix

People As shown earlier, Argos places great emphasis on training staff and ensuring they provide a good customer service. If staff are friendly, know what they are talking about and are eager to serve their customers this can provide an important competitive advantage in retailing. Process (i.e. the buying process) In 2002 Argos introduced 'Text and Take Home' which allows potential buyers to...
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Page 5: Conclusion

When Argos was acquired by GUS in 1998, sales and profits were disappointing. Since then growth has been excellent. Annual sales grew by 13% and profits by 17% from 2002 to 2003 alone, significantly outperforming the market as a whole. This has been a remarkable turnaround for the business, brought about by instilling insights and enthusiasm into employees, keeping the brand modern with...
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Related: Argos
Case studies in Business Case Studies

  • Edition 10 Identifying customers and meeting their needs

    As a result of carefully reading the Case Study, students should be able to: understand the importance of a mission statement, and know that Argos’ mission statement focuses on giving customers value for money by providing them with a convenient shopping experience, explain why segmentation helps an organisation to identify and meet the needs of customers and understand how frequency of visitors to an Argos store or site is a good way of segmenting customers, know what is meant by a growth strategy and give a brief explanation of how Argos is seeking to grow.