Argos is a well-known retailer in UK. There are about 20,000 products for customers to choose that including garden, furniture, sports, jewellery, toys, leisure equipment and so on. (Argos company, 2010).
It is different between Argos's operation and the traditional retailers'. Customers can not see the shelves, or the goods in the Argos warehouse. Argos provides different ways for the customers to purchase goods, such as to go to Argos store, or shop on Argos website (http://www.argos.co.uk), or by phone or text. People can go to the store and choose products on the catalogue by themselves, then tell the staff the number of the product they want to purchase. Customers can visit www.argos.co.uk to choose the goods they want, and ask for home delivery. And the customers can also call 0845 640 2020 or text 61201 to tell Argos staff what they need and want. No matter which way to shop, customers can ask home delivery. Customers can Check & Reserve to make sure if the goods they want to purchase are in stock at their near stores. Then they can go to buy it or after the customers payment, they can ask home delivery service. (Argos).
Customers can arrange their delivery online, by phone, or in store. The cost of the home delivery is depended on the items' sizes that it costs £5.95 to deliver small items by one person, and it costs £8.95 to deliver large items by two people. It will add some cost for two day Express delivery and Connect & Collect. (Argos Home delivery, 2010).
Argos has a strong delivery group that including many vehicles, deliverers, and the delivery equipments. Argos provides more than 550 vehicles to deliver 15,000 orders each day to across 30 depots in UK. Argos improves the utilisation of vehicle so that to save cost and deliver products to the customers as soon as possible. (Manufacturing & Logistics IT, 26th May 2006).
Home Delivery :
There are about 750 Argos stores in UK and the Republic of Ireland that means Argos can deliver goods to many places in mainland UK and Republic of Ireland.(see Figure A as follow) But it does not mean Argos provides home delivery service in anywhere in UK. Argos has no ability to deliver goods to Orkney, the Isle of Man, Shetland and Western Scottish, or Isles of Scilly. In these areas, the customers should connect with the local stores by themselves. (Argos Home delivery, 2010)
In order to make sure the home delivery service is effective and efficient, Argos should manage its suppliers well. It can help Argos has enough stocks to meet customers needs, and operate its stocks with "Just In Time" that can save cost and avoid any waste in supply chain. There is one Distribution Center (DC) and four Regional Distribution Centers (RDC) in Argos to in charge of the distribution in England and Wales. (see Figure B as follow) There are another two transit points, one is in Scotland, the other is in the Republic of Ireland that are in charge of the distribution in Scotland and the Republic of Ireland. In 2003, Argos commissioned Retek Inc to manage the inventory so that to optimise inventory in Argos, speed up the reaction rate, and enhance the entire supply chain management. It also helps Argos to build a good relationship with the suppliers and satisfy customers needs and wants. (MBA lib). This comprehensive supply chain makes the home delivery become more quickly and make sure the goods in good condition.
Figure A : The graph of Argos in UK see below:
(Resource: Stone,M and Harris, J, 2010)
Figure B : The map of the Argos stores in UK see below:
In the map, Point A is Distribution Center of Argos
Point B, C, D, E are four Regional Distribution Centers of Argos (Resource: Google maps)
The fantastic and variable range of products that are about 20,000 is the main reason to attract people, and it is also the reason why Argos is so successful. As we know, Argos has a lot of competitors...