Argos says sales fell 7.7% in its latest trading update

Argos store
Image caption Argos accounts for 80% of Home Retail Group sales

Weak demand for electronics has been blamed for another fall in sales at retailer Argos.

For the eight weeks to 25 February, the company's owner, Home Retail Group (HRG), said sales fell 7.7% to £480m.

Argos, which brings in 80% of HRG's overall sales, shut 12 stores during the period, reducing its total number of shops to 748. Internet sales now account for 40% of revenue.

HRG also owns the Homebase chain. Its sales declined 6.2% to £195m.

Catalogue sales specialist Argos has been hit by the squeeze from rising food and energy prices on its lower-income customers, who have been cutting back on electronics purchases in particular.

Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers, said: "It is difficult to envisage an end to the company's current woes, as economic hardship intensifies and the competition shows no sign of slowing."

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