Growth remained positive in consumer electronics, however – but was at a lower rate than in the previous quarter.
Furniture and homewares continued to show declining sales in challenging market conditions.
Online Check & Reserve orders for immediate store collection grew by over 40 per cent and represented 13 per cent of total Argos sales, with a further 9 per cent of sales being internet orders for home delivery.
Terry Duddy, Chief Executive of Argos parent Home Retail Group, commented:
“The performance of Argos and Homebase in the latest quarter was reflective of a difficult consumer environment. However, the Group’s focus on cost control should result in benchmark profit for the half-year being in line with our expectations; the Group has also had further good cash generation.
“Profits for the financial year as a whole are, as ever, dependent on the key Christmas trading period, though the Group’s operating model and financial strength will see us well positioned to compete in challenging conditions.”