Home Retail Group (UK)
Home Retail Group (HRG) was until recently the UK's biggest home and general merchandise retailer, controlling two major chainstore brands. Argos is the country's biggest general merchandise retailer, and the market leader in sectors including toys, furniture, housewares, small domestic appliances and jewellery. It is also unique in Britain as a retailer with an extensive network of high street stores where customers select their orders from an instore catalogue rather than from on-shelf displays. Partner brand Homebase is the country's #2 home improvement and garden centre behind B&Q. The group was one of several created from the break-up of retail and credit services conglomerate GUS. Combined sales broke the £6bn level for the first time during 2010, before slipping back the following year. In 2011, the group acquired ownership of the celebrated Habitat brand. However the break-up of HRG will take place during 2016. The group accepted an offer from Australia's Wesfarmers at the beginning of the year for Homebase, and subsequently agreed to sell Argos to Sainsbury's.
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Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:
Adbrands Weekly Update 25th Feb 2016: UK supermarket Sainsbury's bid for general merchandise chain Argos was potentially derailed by a rival bid from South African group Steinhoff, which already has a strong presence in the UK through furniture retailers Harveys and Bensons For Beds, and recently acquired French chain Conforama. As a result, Steinhoff is now the world's second largest furniture retailer after Ikea. It has offered 175p in cash for Argos parent Home Retail Group, trumping Sainsbury's 161p cash-and-shares bid. The British chain has been given an additional three weeks to submit a revised proposal.
Adbrands Weekly Update 4th Feb 2016: Sainsbury's sealed a deal to acquire Home Retail Group, the parent to general merchandise and catalogue shopping chain Argos, for £1.3bn in cash and shares. HRG has already accepted a separate offer for its other division, the DIY retailer Homebase, from Wesfarmers of Australia. The deal will greatly strengthen Sainsbury's existing online and home delivery business, and the combined company would be bigger in the non-food market than John Lewis or Amazon.
Adbrands Weekly Update 21st Jan 2016: Australian conglomerate Wesfarmers confirmed the acquisition of UK-based DIY and gardening chain Homebase for £340m. It will become a local partner to the group's Australian business Bunnings, the leading Ozzie home improvement chain. Wesfarmers is expected to phase out the Homebase name in favour of the Bunnings brand. The announcement coincided with related news from Wesfarmers' domestic rival Woolworths, which said it is pulling the plug on its own struggling DIY chain Masters, a joint venture with America's Lowe's. The sale of Homebase also significantly boosts Sainsbury's chances in its pursuit of Homebase's sister chain within Home Retail Group, Argos.
Adbrands Weekly Update 7th Jan 2016: UK supermarket Sainsbury's announced its interest in acquiring hard-pressed general retailer Home Retail Group, owner of the Argos and Homebase chains. (Ironically, Sainsbury's originally owned Homebase back in the 1990s). The grocery group said that a friendly £1bn approach to Home Retail had been rejected in November by the latter's board, and so it is now setting out its case to the target group's shareholders in a so-called "bear hug". A combination, it argued, would be "an opportunity to bring together two of the UK's leading retail businesses, with complementary product offers, focused on delivering quality products and services at fair prices, through an integrated, multi-channel proposition." Most commentators were unimpressed. "Sainsbury's strategic logic looks flimsy," said the Financial Times. "It talks of creating a 'retailer of choice' [but] the rise of both hard discounters in food and Amazon in non-food suggests that, increasingly, there is no such thing. Both companies have struggled to 'deliver profitable sales growth' alone; it is not clear why they would be more successful together."
Adbrands Weekly Update 17th Oct 2013: Hot on the heels of supermarket giant Tesco, UK high street retailer Argos is also to enter the tablet market. Like Tesco's Hudl, the Argos MyTablet will come with pre-loaded games and apps, including an Argos shopping app, and has cameras back and front for video chat. Unlike Tesco, though, Argos doesn't already have its own entertainment streaming service, so MyTablet will rely on third-party providers.
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Home Retail Group website
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