Argos to open in India and invest in Ireland

Home Retail Group, parent company of Argos and Homebase, has
unveiled plans to develop the Argos retail format in India
through a franchise arrangement with a JV company owned by Indian
retailers, Shopper’s Stop Ltd and Hypercity Retail India Private
Ltd. Under the terms of the agreement, Argos will provide its
brand, catalogue and multi-channel expertise and IT support. The
business will launch towards the end of 2007 under the name
HyperCITY-Argos, initially in Mumbai.

The company has also signed heads of terms to subscribe for a 33
per cent stake in Irish homewares retailer, Home Store + More.
The investment of some £7m will be used to fund an expansion
of the out-of-town homewares chain in Ireland. The Home Store +
More team will also support Home Retail Group in its development
of a homewares format in the UK.

Terry Duddy, chief executive, commented, “The heads
of terms gives Argos an initial foothold in what is a rapidly
expanding market. Meanwhile our investment in Home Store + More
will strengthen our position in the highly fragmented homewares
market through the roll-out of its format in Ireland. These two
ventures provide an exciting but cost-effective opportunity to
leverage our skills, sourcing scale and capabilities over time.
However, our core focus continues to be driving the organic
growth opportunities within Argos and Homebase.”


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