Argos uses design plan to drive sales

Catalogue retailer Argos is seeking to raise the profile of design across its business and is working on a number of projects with consultancies The Core, Unreal and Fraserdesign.

The company is looking at initiatives to boost design across its multi-channel offering – which includes catalogues, stores and its website – in order to drive sales. The work is being overseen by Sunita Yeomans, creative controller in the publications and new media department for Argos.

‘There is a realisation that we needed to put more emphasis on design because of the role it plays in selling products. The aim is to raise the profile of design – this will have a ripple effect,’ she says.

Yeomans has appointed Unreal to work with her seven-strong in-house team to investigate a series of ‘hot topics’ relating to the Argos catalogue. Some of the design issues to be tackled include typography, navigation and eye-tracking. The programme is currently being rolled out and will be based on a host of ‘creative days’.

‘We will help encourage innovative new ideas, strategies and design that can be applied to Argos communications, with particular emphasis on the catalogue, says Tim Lewis, managing director at Unreal.

The Core is also working on the catalogue and is thought to be rebranding various products.

Yeomans says much of the work will also ‘start to filter out to other areas’ such as Argos’ in-store retail environment.

Fraserdesign, the retailer’s lead design consultancy, confirms it is currently working on a ‘number of initiatives’ for the in-store environment and catalogue.

Yeomans says there are ‘huge opportunities and all sorts of scope’ for the design of Argos’ digital offering, www.argos.co.uk.

Specific design details of these projects are being kept under wraps, but the work is likely to address some of the complex communication challenges of retailing across stores, a website and over the phone.

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