THE future of Argos stores in Tyrone are in doubt as the company appears to be moving away from retail parks.
Argos has already confirmed that the standalone Dungannon premises will no longer operate, but will reopen inside the town’s Sainsbury’s store.
Last year, the company shared plans to open 350 more Argos stores in Sainsbury’s and Argos collection points in supermarkets and convenience stores by March, 2024.
As a result, this means the company has said it no longer needs as many standalone stores as it plans to close around 420 branches.
This has cast into doubt the future of standalone Argos stores in Omagh, Strabane and Cookstown, none of which support a Sainsbury’s.
West Tyrone SDLP MLA, Daniel McCrossan, said the development was ‘extremely concerning’ for both Strabane and Omagh where Argos has been a mainstay for the past number of years.
He said any threat to the future of the stores would have an impact on the towns in terms of jobs, the local economy and their customers.
“Argos needs to come out and give clarity on the situation and clarify for their staff. The last thing we need now during this pandemic is any staff losses whatsoever. Argos owe it to their staff and customers to be up front on their future plans,” he said.
“I have written to Argos to outline the SDLP’s concerns around the future of their stores in Strabane, Omagh and Cookstown. We have asked for an urgent meeting and will be using this to raise those concerns.”
An Argos spokesperson said they had not confirmed all the stores that will close at this stage.
“The standalone Dungannon Argos store will close and colleagues will be offered opportunities to redeploy to alternative roles within Sainsbury’s,” an Argos spokesperson told the Tyrone Herald.
“This summer a brand new Argos store will open inside Sainsbury’s Dungannon. By bringing together the much-loved brands of Sainsbury’s and Argos under one roof, our customers will be able to enjoy greater convenience as the new Argos will enable them to purchase thousands of technology, home and toy products whilst picking up their groceries.”
Posted: 6:18 pm March 30, 2021