Not long ago Argos seemed like just another victim of the digital retail revolution – a tired high-street relic, soon to be made redundant by the likes of Amazon and Ebay. However, following a brave new rebrand, it’s having an unexpected lease of life.
It now presents itself as a youthful, dynamic innovator, taking cues not from mainstream retail – but from the tech giants that threatened to make it irrelevant. The open plan shops owe a debt to Apple, and the high impact visual identity echo Google and Microsoft. They have also announced their entry into 3D printing. Though limited only to a range of jewellery items – bracelet, rings and earrings – customers can create personalised pieces by altering patterns and shapes. This firmly places Argos as a tech innovator. Not only is 3D printing a frontier yet to be fully crossed in mainstream shopping, but the move also puts a contemporary spin on Argos’ reputation for offering an endless variety of affordable jewellery.
We think they could push it even further. The service is available only online, and the product takes a barely hi-tech 21 days to arrive by post. What would be truly innovative would be a highly visible in-store service, which would take advantage of one of the brand’s key advantages – its physical presence. We think they could really run with this approach – creating products that are at the cutting edge of technology, and truly playing the tech giants at their own game.