Argos have shown mixed signs recently, sales down in the 18 weeks leading to January, but slightly up over the quarter. While Homebase shone through the period on like for like sales. However, 31 stores have closed making total sales lower over an eventful period for the Home Retail Group, who own both companies. In addition, it looks as if they’re preparing an exit. Speculation over takeover bids from Sainsburys, keen on Argos although commitment from shareholders is lacking. Homebase is under consideration from Australia’s Wesfarmers. Long-term will they keep customers happy. In fact, how companies that sell everything provide service, choice and value for customers. Can they compete with specialist retailers? Focused on particular products and serving customers of these better, carving out a niche.
Amazon Sell Everything
Sainsbury’s are looking to compete with Amazon a mega online retailer, selling everything. Closing between 400-800 stores turning them creating concessions in out of town locations pre-cursor with 10 sites already crossing over, a trial purchase if you will. We can only assume this will move towards less staff and less information about products for customers as Argos moves towards a purely click and collect type service which wouldn’t be so bad, however, you buy from them and who delivers big freight? This is drop shipped from manufacturers who will often like ourselves sell direct to you at better prices, with a quicker service not playing Chinese whispers through a retailer who doesn’t know the product, unable to help they have to contact manufacturers for everything.
Speaking from a specialist retailers point of view we no longer see the attraction behind online stores like Argos that offer little information for customers about products purely because they can’t offer it. Sell everything mentality means product knowledge isn’t at the forefront, and they can’t monitor the quality of these products. Every time responsibility shifts to the manufacture. Hoverboards and child seats are two recent product recalls that were in the news not so very long ago, both have quickly distanced from retailer leaving manufacture to deal. Climbing Frames UK and partner Selwood have a focus on wooden play equipment climbing frames and children’s playhouses. We know our products inside out, our staff have built them and guess what anyone can because that’s how we have designed them. We use to supply Tesco and came away from this arrangement for one big reason customer service, climbing frames UK deliver customer service directly to customers, not through any third party, need install help ask us, need a part sent out ask us. Any delivery issue just ask us, and see it dealt with quickly.
Climbing Frame Comparison
Having just looked at the most expensive climbing frame on Argos and I’m left wondering what wood is this? Certainly a pine wood you can tell by the funny blue-green tinge on the surface (this will fade eventually). This is caused by pressure treatments mixing with resins. The pressure treatment is not mentioned on Argos and it really should. Why? Pressure treatment is essential for pine wood and in the same image you can see what appears as untreated wood. Although without information on the page or any reference to warranty agreements “manufacturers guarantee” is 10 years most pine construction will demand you treat the wood every year.
We also have a 10-year wood warranty, no staining is required its china cedar you will find a link on all product pages to details about this. It doesn’t need pressure treatment so no nasty chemicals or funny colours. It comes with a redwood stain applied after the wood is cut to size and drilled leaving no part exposed. You will also note one slide, no swings and frankly it’s not exactly the most inspiring sight for the eyes. That last one is a matter of opinion, but I’ll let you decide.
Choosing a Climbing Frame
Price and value add up all those features you can get on a climbing frame and see who comes out better, more variation on climbing frames by specialist retailers that hold a complete range. Argos et al will hold one or two that look like climbing frames and another few that are.. actually, a couple of them are swing sets others are those tiny plastic things that children grow out of really quickly I mean how scary is that you can spend that amount on a piece play equipment for it to be discarded so quickly.
Take a look at our range and see the variety on offer take you pick enjoy shopping from a specialist retailer that knows it’s climbing frames back to front that makes them and does its own delivery and warranty you won’t get the same service from retailers who try and sell everything!