Argos slump spooks British retail markets
The UK owner of Argos heaped more gloom on the British retail sector today as it revealed the catalogue chain saw same-store sales drop nearly 9pc in the last three months.
Home Retail Group said two-thirds of the steep decline in the 13 weeks to August 27 came from consumer electronics as it sold fewer video games, televisions and iPods at its 750 UK stores.
Elsewhere, Home Retail's garden and homewares chain Homebase saw a 3.1pc drop in like-for-like sales as cash-strapped customers shied away from making big-ticket purchases such as fitted kitchens.
Argos and Homebase have suffered in recent months as waning consumer confidence and a squeeze on household incomes, driven by high inflation and meagre wage growth, led to sluggish sales.