150 Argos stores could close
Around 150 stores are expected to close following Sainsbury’s £1.3bn outline deal to acquire Argos’s owner Home Retail Group this week.
Jonathan de Mello, head of the retail consultancy at Harper Dennis Hobbs, told Property Week that 245 Argos stores were within half a mile of a Sainsbury’s store. While all would be considered, he predicted around 150 would eventually be selected for disposal.
“In an absolute worst-case scenario for the high street, potentially the 245 Argos stores where there is overlap could close, but this is unlikely in reality, as Argos offers more than just its own product in its stores, with tie-ups with eBay and others,” said de Mello. “My opinion is that around 150 stores - mostly Argos stores - will be closed, likely over a couple of years coinciding with lease expiries.”
Towns where Sainsbury’s closed Argos stores would see a new Argos concession opening in the group’s nearby supermarket, he added.
On Tuesday, Sainsbury’s and Home Retail Group agreed terms on a deal dependent on the sale of Homebase Australia’s Wesfarmers. The offer of 161.3p represents a 63% premium to Home Retail’s closing share price on 4 January, when the supermarket’s interest in the group was revealed.