CHRISTCHURCH’S Argos in the town centre will not reopen, while the future of Totton’s branch is uncertain.
Sainsbury’s which bought Argos in 2016, announced on Thursday morning it was closing 420 standalone Argos outlets across the UK. It said all Argos stores that were closed at the start of lockdown would remain shut – including the one in Saxon Square, Christchurch.
Sainsbury’s is set to review which other standalone Argos stores – such as the one at Totton Retail Park in Commercial Road – will stay open.
“Any standalone Argos store which has not reopened since March will remain closed permanently. We have not confirmed any other closures at this stage,” a Sainsbury’s spokesperson said.
The Argos branches within Sainsbury’s stores – such as the one at Lyndhurst Road, Christchurch and in the Furlong Centre in Ringwood – are unaffected.
Sainsbury’s half-year report revealed a £172m loss and it will axe 3,500 jobs and all of its fish, meat and deli counters. Boss Simon Roberts said the supermarket giant was responding to changing consumer habits and the growth of online shopping.
The decisions will reduce its UK Argos standalone stores to 100 by 2024 but it will be adding 150 Argos stores to Sainsbury’s outlets during that period.
George Charles, spokesperson for www.MoneySavingHeroes.co.uk, said: “When Sainsbury’s initially bought the Argos chain, it almost felt like the beginning of the end for the high street retailer.
“Although there is a reason to be positive with a further 150 stores opening inside of Sainsbury’s stores across the UK, Argos will be missed from the high street. I think everyone can remember flicking through the famous catalogue with a pen and marking what they wanted for Christmas.”