In the past couple of years, Argos has unveiled a number of new initiatives aimed at differentiating itself from its retail rivals. We've seen it open click-and-collect stores on the Tube, partner with eBay to let online users pick up their deliveries, set up digital stores inside Sainsbury's branches and recently let customers trade in their old smartphone or tablet. Those perks are certainly useful, but they still require customers to visit an Argos store, which is often easier said than done. The company does recognize that deliveries still play a big part in its overall business, so today it's turning up the heat on Amazon with the launch of same-day deliveries across the whole of the UK.
Argos says its Fast Track Delivery service lets customers order up to 20,000 products by 6pm and have them delivered before 10pm on the same day. That's roughly the same number of items that Amazon offers customers in London and Birmingham via its Prime Now service. Argos is creating 3,300 jobs for delivery drivers, who will drop off packages in one of four available delivery slots available seven days a week: 7-10am, 10am-1pm, 2-6pm and 7-10pm.
On top of that, Argos is ramping up its collection service too. Fast Track Collection is now available in 800 stores, letting customers pay for their items ahead of time and pick it up within a couple of minutes (skipping the queue in the process).
Like Amazon, Argos won't expedite deliveries for free. Its rival offers one-hour deliveries for £6.99 or same-day evening drop-offs for £9.99, but customers in select areas can select free two-hour delivery. Argos, however, covers the whole of the UK with the same standard £3.95 charge per shipment. It will only cover items that can be delivered from a local store by one person, so things like furniture will be covered by the normal express next-day delivery service instead.