Sixteen jobs have been created in Peterborough after Argos opened what it describes as a digital outlet inside a Homebase store.
Argos bosses say the store has been created to meet the demand from shoppers for the speed and convenience of online shopping and a friendly face in a physical store.
It has been an exciting first week at the store.Matt Newton, Argos sore manager
The “paperless” but fully Wi-Fi enabled store inside Homebase, in Padholme Road, features tables of tablets replacing Argos’ traditional laminated catalogues, paper slips and pencils.
Customers can use the tablets to browse for products, videos, photography and customer reviews online, before adding items to their online shopping trolley. Staff will be on hand to provide personal service.
Matt Newton, Argos store manager, said: “It has been an exciting first week at the store and it’s fantastic that we can bring a new shopping experience to people in Peterborough.
“We’ve had so many positive comments from new and existing customers about the look of the store and people have enjoyed using the tablets to browse and shop.”
The move comes after research commissioned by Argos found that 50 per cent of shoppers surveyed believe that one of the biggest benefits of online shopping is that it offers more choice.
However, 75 per cent revealed that they still shop locally.
An Argos spokesman added: “The new digital stores equip Argos for the online revolution, as shoppers increasingly browse and buy online via PCs, tablets and other mobile devices, while still wanting the immediacy of a local store to pick up their purchases.
“Around 44 per cent of Argos’ total sales now start online. Sales from mobile phones and tablets represent 25 per cent of the total sales.”
Up to 20,000 products – from technology to toys – will be available for same or next day delivery from the new store.
Argos says customers can also benefit from new services such as the ability to browse and pay for goods online at home or on the move for speedy collection from a Fast Track collection point in the store.
Tim Newton, Homebase store manager, said: “Homebase has been a part of the local community for nearly 30 years and we are really thrilled to welcome Argos and its team into our store.
“It’s great that our customers now have the option to buy TVs and toys, as well as everything they need to complete home and garden projects – all under one roof.”