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Argos Home Delivery Service

Argos Home delivery service Introduction : Argos is a well-known retailer in UK. There are about 20,000 products for customers to choose that including garden, furniture, sports, jewellery, toys, leisure equipment and so on. (Argos company, 2010). It is different between Argos’s operation and the traditional retailers’. Customers can not see the shelves, or the goods in the Argos warehouse. Argos provides different ways for the customers to purchase goods, such as to go to Argos store, or shop on Argos website (http://www. argos. co. uk), or by phone or text.

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People can go to the store and choose products on the catalogue by themselves, then tell the staff the number of the product they want to purchase. Customers can visit www. argos. co. uk to choose the goods they want, and ask for home delivery. And the customers can also call 0845 640 2020 or text 61201 to tell Argos staff what they need and want. No matter which way to shop, customers can ask home delivery. Customers can Check & Reserve to make sure if the goods they want to purchase are in stock at their near stores. Then they can go to buy it or after the customers payment, they can ask home delivery service. Argos). Customers can arrange their delivery online, by phone, or in store. The cost of the home delivery is depended on the items’ sizes that it costs ? 5. 95 to deliver small items by one person, and it costs ? 8. 95 to deliver large items by two people. It will add some cost for two day Express delivery and Connect ; Collect. (Argos Home delivery, 2010). Argos has a strong delivery group that including many vehicles, deliverers, and the delivery equipments. Argos provides more than 550 vehicles to deliver 15,000 orders each day to across 30 depots in UK.

Argos improves the utilisation of vehicle so that to save cost and deliver products to the customers as soon as possible. (Manufacturing ; Logistics IT, 26th May 2006). Home Delivery : There are about 750 Argos stores in UK and the Republic of Ireland that means Argos can deliver goods to many places in mainland UK and Republic of Ireland. (see Figure A as follow) But it does not mean Argos provides home delivery service in anywhere in UK. Argos has no ability to deliver goods to Orkney, the Isle of Man, Shetland and Western Scottish, or Isles of Scilly.

In these areas, the customers should connect with the local stores by themselves. (Argos Home delivery, 2010) In order to make sure the home delivery service is effective and efficient, Argos should manage its suppliers well. It can help Argos has enough stocks to meet customers needs, and operate its stocks with “Just In Time” that can save cost and avoid any waste in supply chain. There is one Distribution Center (DC) and four Regional Distribution Centers (RDC) in Argos to in charge of the distribution in England and Wales. see Figure B as follow) There are another two transit points, one is in Scotland, the other is in the Republic of Ireland that are in charge of the distribution in Scotland and the Republic of Ireland. In 2003, Argos commissioned Retek Inc to manage the inventory so that to optimise inventory in Argos, speed up the reaction rate, and enhance the entire supply chain management. It also helps Argos to build a good relationship with the suppliers and satisfy customers needs and wants. (MBA lib). This comprehensive supply chain makes the home delivery become more quickly and make sure the goods in good condition.

Figure A : The graph of Argos in UK see below: [pic] (Resource: Stone,M and Harris, J, 2010) Figure B : The map of the Argos stores in UK see below: [pic] In the map, Point A is Distribution Center of Argos Point B, C, D, E are four Regional Distribution Centers of Argos (Resource: Google maps) Best-Practice The fantastic and variable range of products that are about 20,000 is the main reason to attract people, and it is also the reason why Argos is so successful. As we know, Argos has a lot of competitors in UK, such as IKEA, Toys R Us and Tesco. In 1973, Argos was set up, and its sales figure increases year by year. see Figure C as follow) The home delivery service is also very successful, and more and more customers choose home delivery rather than taking goods by themselves. (see Figure D as follow) According to Harrison and van Hoek (2008, pp. 51-55 ), to compare IKEA home delivery service, Toys R Us delivery, and Tesco delivery, Argos home delivery has some “Best-Practice”, as follow: 1) The cost of delivery is cheaper for the customers. It just costs customer ? 5. 95 to deliver small items that require one delivery staff no matter how many items. The larger items that require two delivery staff will cost ? 8. 95. Argos Home delivery, 2010) IKEA charges customer more. For the Parcel delivery, it costs ? 7. 50 for the goods that weight up to 25 kg, and it costs ? 15. 00 for the goods that weight up to 100kg. The Truck delivery cost from ? 35. (IKEA delivery, 2010) The low cost of delivery can attract more customers to shop because it seems they can save money. 2) The order lead time will be short because customers can check on Argos website to make sure the product is available online or at any stores in UK, then they can reserve and order online. Argos will deal with the customers’ order in that day or next day.

If the stock is not available in the store, Argos will help customers to order from other warehouse and collect in 3 working days. The lead time of delivery is shown beside each stock in its website, so customers can know how long they can get the product. 90% stocks will be delivered from 2 days. (Argos Home delivery, 2010) But many of IKEA products are not for sale on their website, and it just shows if it is available or not in its local stores in some citys instead of all places. So people need to spend more time to order what they wants, and it will increase the lead time. (IKEA,2010) 3) Delivery frequency in Argos is high.

Argos has more than 550 vehicles to deliver goods so they will deliver products to the customers after they collect and package. The delivery works from Monday to Saturday (7am–8pm). If the customers want to get the goods quickly, they can choose two day Express delivery. (Argos Home delivery, 2010) But IKEA truck delivery does not work everyday. For example, I checked the truck delivery in Northampton, it just delivers on Wednesday and Saturday. (IKEA Truck delivery,2010) For Toys R Us, it will not deliver to some place often, such as the postcodes are AB10-16, KA27, PA42, PH42 and other 30 places.

So the customers in these areas need to wait 4 days more or longer time. (Toys R Us, Orders Help & Information). 4) Argos has an advantage on Product Innovation because it will launch a lot of goods every year. (see Figure E as follow) Each year Argos launches two catalogues including Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter. Argos sells its own brand products and other brands that including high-class, middle-class and low-class to satisfy different levels customers. (Argos, 2010) IKEA has about 12,000 products and it just sell its own brand products. IKEA just launches one catalogue on September every year. IKEA, 2010) 5) Delivery reliability is high in Argos because customers can check where their products are now online, by phone or text. For example, customers can call 0845 640 2020 to arrange the delivery or check their delivery from 8am to 8pm everyday. Or they can enter www. argos. co. uk to check their accounts and the details of their orders. Before the goods are delivered, the customers will be told the 2 hours delivery time slot that they expected in advance. If there is nobody at home, the delivery staff will leave the goods in the customers’ neighbours or in safe places.

And the staff will leave a message on a card so that the customers know where their products are. (Argos Home delivery, 2010) But Toys R Us can not offer customers specific delivery time slot, and it also can not tell the customers whether the goods will be delivered in the morning or in the afternoon. So the customers have no ideas when they can get the products and they will lose confidence. (Toys R Us, Orders Help ; Information) Figure C : The graph of the sales figure in Argos from 2006 to 2010 see below: [pic] (Resource: Stone,M and Harris, J, 2010)

After order, they can choose to go to the nearest store to take or ask the home delivery. (Argos, 2010) Argos warehouses are located suburbs that the rent cost will be lower. The stores are located in the town center to attract people. It not only can save cost, but also can be known by people. 3. Argos provides a refund guarantee in 30 days after people purchase. (Argos, Returns and Refunds, 2010) Argos website is completeness. It is easy for customers to order what they want to purchase online, and data that the customers type is security.

Argos provides convenient ways to shop and arrange the delivery for the customers. They can shop in store, or visit its website (http://www. argos. co. uk) to purchase online, or they can call 0845 640 2020 or text 61201 to order goods. Now the customers also can use iPod Touch and iPhone iTunes App store to order goods. (Argos) Weaknesses of Argos: 1. The way of Argos to sell has a disadvantage because some people will not buy the product before they see it, and they may lose confidence to shop at Argos. 2. The cost of Connection ; Collection service that Argos provides is very high.

For example, it costs ? 85 to connect electric cookers, and the gas cookers cost ? 95. (Argos Home delivery, 2010) The information of the Argos catalogue is vague. For example, it shows a duvet set and pair of pillowcases in a picture and shows “from only ? 7. 99”. Most people will think ? 7. 99 including a duvet set and pillowcases. In fact, ? 7. 99 is the pillowcases’ price. (Argos catalogue, pp. 772-773) Argos does not provide home delivery service for personalised jewellery and rings, so people need to go to the stores to purchase. (Argos Home delivery, 2010)

Sometimes Argos delivery will delay so that customers need to spend more time on waiting for their products. (Boards. ie, 28th September 2010 11:37) (Consumer action group, 14th September 2006 13:55) Opportunities of Argos: 1. The convenient way to shop like Argos will be a trend for people to purchase products, such as by Internet, phone, and iTunes store for iPhone and iPod Touch. Argos employs UPS as its third party logistics provider to connect more than 200 suppliers, collect the goods from them, and send to every RDC in Argos. (MBA lib). 3. UK general merchandise and home market is ? 8 billion , Argos just has lower than 10% market share. So Argos has significant room to develop and enlarge its market share. (Stone,M and Harris, J, 2010) Argos provides a variable range of products which including high-class, middle-class, and low-class for customers to choose. Now there are about 20,000 stocks for sale. So it can enlarge its customers range no matter old and young. (MBA lib) 5. Argos also has many competitors like the local furniture retailers. But most of them are vulnerable because their scales are small and they do not have variable range of products.

Argos, the UK’s largest general merchandise retailer, has a variable range of choice, and convenience to meet customers needs and wants. It operates an unique selling way, provides many methods for customers to shop, and good home delivery services. In my opinion, Argos still has some challenges. For example, it needs to use a lot of carton and paper to package goods before the delivery so it wastes lots of resources. It also enlarges the problem of air pollution because much carbon dioxide made by the 550 vehicles when they deliver goods. My suggestions are to recycle the carton and paper from customers, and the vehicles can use clear energy instead of petrol.

http://www.argos.co.uk/

http://news. bbc. co. uk/1/hi/business/8648098. stm 

http://www. consumeractiongroup. co. uk/forum/showthread. php? 30833

http://www. diyweek. net/news/news. asp? id=13626 

http://www.ikea.com/

http://www. ikea. com/ms/zh_CN/customer_service/faq/faq. html

http://www.logisticsit.com/

http://www.toysrus.co.uk/toys/

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