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03/08/2015Argos

Argos calls for digital high street “revolution” as it backs Great British High Street Competition

 

Strictly embargoed until 00:01, 3 August 2015

Argos calls for digital high street “revolution” as it backs Great British High Street Competition

Today Argos became the latest heavyweight brand to support the Great British High Street Competition as John Walden, Chief Executive of Home Retail Group plc, owner of Argos, called for a digital high streets “revolution”.

The government supported Digital High Street 2020 Report found that local businesses and independent traders are declining in competitiveness by not keeping up with the digitally savvy modern shopper and availing themselves of digital technologies.

The Great British High Street Competition will seek out the best high streets across the country and showcase how effectively they are capitalising on digital to help their high streets thrive. This year’s £80,000 prize pot also includes specialist digital training by Google for a hundred high street retailers in each of the seven award categories.

High Streets Minister Marcus Jones is pleased that Argos has joined the other retail giants supporting this year’s competition.

Speaking at Argos’s flagship store in Victoria where he saw the Argos ‘Digital Hub’ in operation, Marcus Jones said:

“Last year’s competition was a massive success, helping to showcase the very best high streets, how they were innovating, and the brilliant local people behind their story. And winning not only put a spring in local people’s step, but it also resulted in a tangible economic impact with retailers reporting increased footfall.

“This year’s Great British High Streets Competition is going to be even bigger and better with a boosted prize pot and expert digital advice to help our winning high streets not only be good physical businesses but digital businesses too.

“That’s why it’s great to see another high street stalwart in Argos get behind the Great British High Street Competition and I hope that with their support we’ll get even more entries this year.”

 

 

Home Retail Group Chief Executive John Walden said:

“We take great pride in our Argos stores being at the centre of hundreds of Britain’s best high streets. That’s why we want to recognise the great work that goes on by people across the country to make their local high street so special.

“But a great high street must also be a great digital high street. We need a revolution across our communities in their understanding and embracing of digital technologies so that they can grasp the exciting opportunities of a digital future.

“The Great British High Street Competition will help high streets learn from one another and I’m delighted to say that Argos stores will be encouraging as many people as possible to get voting and help their town to victory.”

Argos joins Boots, Costa, Google, M&S and the Post Office, and as one of the patrons of the competition, pledging to use in-store promotion to get as many people as possible voting online for their best loved high street.

The competition, now in its second year, celebrates the hard work of local groups across the country and their efforts to support their local high streets and make them ever better places to shop and socialise.

The first Great British High Street competition last year saw 135 communities battle it out to be crowned the nation’s best. Belper in Derbyshire emerged as the overall winner.

A concerted focus on our high streets has led to a revival across much of the UK with the latest figures showing that retail sales increased by 4.2 per cent in June 2015 compared to June 2014. This is the 27th consecutive month of year-on-year growth and the longest period of sustained growth since May 2008.

Notes to editors:

The Great British High Street Competition celebrates the hard work of local people across the country in turning their high streets into even better places to shop and socialise. Now in its second year the nationwide competition is free to enter, with prize winners in each of the seven categories receiving expert advice and mentoring alongside a share of the £80,000 prize pot.

For more information or to enter your high street visit http://thegreatbritishhighstreet.co.uk/. Deadlines for applications are 1 September 2015. Winners will be announced in November 2015.

For media enquiries about the Great British High Street competition contact Rhod Jones on 030 3444 1143 or rhodri.jones@communities.gsi.gov.uk

 

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