Argos was internet shopping before the internet

It is as intrinsic to the 1980s as Tupperware parties and sausages on a stick.

© Argos catalogues were iconic.

Now, Argos’ owner, Sainsbury’s, looks set to put another nail into the coffin of the brand as we know it – by closing 420 of its 570 stand-alone stores as it unveiled a £137m half year loss across its operations, which were hit hard by closures due to lockdown and “market changes”.

Argos has always been a peculiarly unique shopping concept. Fat catalogues containing literally hundreds of items were available for customers to browse – either in store or in the comfort of their own home – then, once they had decided what to buy, they inputted a code into a calculator-style device to check whether it was available.

If it was, the customer would pay for it at a till, then take a number and wait for an assistant

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