Home Retail Group today announced the appointment of former Best Buy executive John Walden to be the new Managing Director of its struggling Argos business. He will take up position of the leading 759-store chain by the end of February, reporting to Group Chief Executive Terry Duddy.
Duddy took on the job of running Argos last year after its former Managing Director, Sara Weller, resigned in April for health reasons.
Walden retail career began in the US in mid-1990's when he was Chief Operating Officer for Peapod, a pioneer of online supermarket retailing. From 1999 to 2007 he was with Best Buy where he was Executive Vice President with responsibilities which included the internet and direct channels division and customer centric strategy. Subsequently, he was Executive Vice President at Sears, which included Sears Roebuck, Kmart and Land's End, where he led the internet, catalogue and home services divisions, along with marketing, merchandising and new concept development.
Commenting on the appointment, Duddy said: "I am delighted John is joining the team; he brings with him a wealth of multi-channel retail and technology related business experience at senior levels within a range of both large retail organisations and smaller entrepreneurial enterprises. We look forward to John bringing a valuable, fresh perspective to the future development of Argos."
Argos has struggled in recent years as cash-strapped consumer cut non-food spending with the chain last month Argos posting an 8.8% fall in third-quarter like-for-like sales. Consumer electronics sales were particularly hard hit with a drop-off in demand for video gaming and audio. Although, laptops and tablets remained strong performers. Online sales now account for 41% of total transactions, up from 38% a year ago.
NamNews - Wednesday 1st February 2012