Richard Tompkins was the founder of the Green Shield Stamp loyalty programme in the United Kingdom, and a 1973 holiday to the Greek island of Argos gave him the naming inspiration for a new type of retail store. He wanted to provide an outlet where customers could exchange their completed Green Shield books for household goods, and the decline of this programme led to these stores becoming general shops. Unlike many of their competitors, they use a catalogue to showcase their product range, and stores contain a large warehouse with a relatively small shopping area.
As online shopping threatened to take over at the start of the 21st Century, Argos positioned itself as a means of obtaining items without waiting for delivery. Reservations can now be made in advance on their website, and then customers can collect goods in the store within a few seconds if necessary. As part of a wider network of stores, larger furniture items are also available for home delivery.
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This is a win-win situation: Sainsbury's has space left in its stores, and Argos wants to offer more convenience to its customers. Ten Argos outlets will open in Sainsbury's locations within the next few months.