British catalogue retailer Argos exits India

January 29th, 2009 - 9:19 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Jan 29 (IANS) Online and catalogue retailer Argos is to pull out of India less than two years after praising the growth potential of South Asia.Home Retail Group, which owns Argos, said in a statement Thursday a trial run “had not met the planned performance levels to support the investment required in the current Indian economic climate”.

“At some point in the future, the Indian retail market may still present an attractive long term growth opportunity for the Argos multi-channel model.”

The Indian plans were the group’s first move to expand outside Europe.

The group said the existing retail operation would now be wound down at “minimal cost” to the group.

It said the decision to stop the trial was made “mutually” by the group and its two Indian partners - Shopper’s Stop and Hypercity Retail India.

The joint venture, unveiled in 2007, was to use the Argos brand and product catalogue as ‘Hypercity-Argos’ initially in six stores around Mumbai.

The Financial Times said the write-off will cost the group “several ’single digit’ millions of pounds.”

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