Image courtesy of Home Retail Group

Argos is preparing to accelerate the rate of store closures, bolster its online presence and increase prices as part of a thorough brand overhaul next week, according to the Financial Times.

John Walden, managing director of Argos, is expected to reveal the findings of his strategic review on Wednesday.

Philip Dorgan, analyst at Panmure Gordon, has also suggested that the catalogue retailer has too many stores and needs to embark upon a thorough store closure programme. Dorgan said: “Because Home Retail has cash of around £200 million, it is under no immediate financial pressure. This also means that Argos could trade at a loss for some time,' he points out. 'This is the good news, but it is not enough for us to buy the shares, nor is a less-bad-than-feared second-quarter.

“Both of its operating companies still have fragile profits and losses and we think that Argos requires significant store closure, major cost reduction and brand repositioning. We believe that the risks therefore remain very much on the downside.”

Store closure numbers are expected to increase from 50 over the next five years to almost 100.

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