Q&A: Does Argos Franchise in the UK?

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Argos is a household name in the UK; chances are you’ve flicked through its famous catalogue and waited behind the counter for your chosen product at least once or twice. But does Argos franchise and can you benefit from its extensive brand recognition?

Argos has a network of more than 845 stores across the UK and Ireland, including concessionary areas in many Sainsbury’s stores, following a takeover by the supermarket chain in 2016. The national store attracts around 29 million customers to its brick-and-mortar stores and a billion visitors to its website every year.

History of Argos

Argos began life as a catalogue retailer in 1972. It evolved from the now defunct Green Shield Stamps scheme, which rewarded UK shoppers with stamps to buy items from catalogues or participating retailers. The scheme began in 1958 and initially proved highly successful, but after supermarket giant Tesco pulled out of the partnership, it began to struggle.

In an attempt to keep the business alive, Green Shield founder Richard Tompkins allowed customers to purchase items from its catalogues using a mixture of stamps and cash. The business then quickly morphed into a cash-only enterprise and later became the Argos we know and love today.

In 2020, Argos made headlines when it got rid of its iconic catalogue. More and more consumers are turning to the internet to find their next purchase, and Argos now has a user-friendly website displaying all its products. Customers can simply order their chosen item online and collect at one of Argos’ stores.

Does Argos franchise?

Argos did franchise for a brief period to support its international expansion plans. Through its Indian retail partner Hypercity, the company opened five Argos franchise locations around Mumbai in early 2007. However, less than two years later, it was forced to pull out of the deal due to poor sales figures. Since then, Argos has not tried franchising in other countries.

Currently, all of Argos’ stores are owned by parent brand Sainsbury’s, which purchased the company in 2016. All the profits and losses go back into the company and it appoints salaried store managers to look after each location, like most traditional retail stores. Argos currently has no franchisees and it doesn’t seem as though the company has any plans to start franchising in the future.

How to get involved with Argos

Argos is in the middle of a brand overhaul, improving its digital presence and using technology to revolutionise the way we shop. If you’re keen to get involved, why not browse its job vacancies? Argos is looking for talented workers to take up roles in financial services, marketing, retail, logistics, technology and its head office.

The retail market in the UK

In the UK, there are more than 306,000 shops employing just under 3 million people. Last year, the total value of sales reached £394 billion, and 19 percent of purchases were made online. In fact, the proportion of online sales compared to ‘in-store’ ones has grown by 324 percent in the last 10 years, so it’s a great time to invest in a retail franchise with an online division (Retail Economics).

Similar franchise opportunities

If you’re looking to become part of an exciting retail franchise and become your own boss, we’ve got plenty of opportunities for you. We’ve highlighted two of the most exciting retail franchises currently seeking new franchise partners in the UK.


Gautier is stylish French furniture retailer with over 100 stores across 65 countries. The brand is a leader in the indoor furniture sector and it was the first to cater for children with junior-sized furniture.

  • Becoming a Gautier franchisee: This franchise has ambitious expansion plans and opens an average of 10 new outlets worldwide each year. You can learn more about the business’s development on its Point Franchise profile page.
  • How much you need to invest: If you’re keen to be part of this contemporary furniture brand’s UK expansion, you’ll need a minimum investment of £250,000.
  • What you get for your investment: On top of its operational training programme, Gautier offers a range of extra support services, including help with marketing and access to software tools. You’ll even get guidance with arranging your grand opening and regular check-ups to make sure you’re performing well.

Mr Arkwright’s Tool Emporium

Mr Arkwright’s Tool Emporium was set up in 2012 by Clive Owen, with the aim of catering to everyone from DIY newbies to professional builders. The tool franchise now sells a diverse range of more than 50,000 tools and products, including electrical goods, baking accessories, bathroom and plumbing equipment and even furniture.

  • Becoming a Mr Arkwright’s Tool Emporium franchisee: As a franchisee, you can reach a potential profit margin of 60 percent with a yearly turnover of more than £200,000.
  • How much you need to invest: You should be prepared to pay an initial investment of between £45,000 and £80,000.
  • What you get for your investment: The franchise offers a week of initial training, which covers inventory, sales, business operations and customer support. You’ll also get plenty of help with the advertising process, with access to print ads, flyers and coverage on the business’s website to boost your new business unit. The Mr Arkwright’s franchise package even includes a full shop fitting, EPOS system and CCTV system.

Join the retail sector today

There are no Argos franchise opportunities on the market, but if you’d like to join the retail sector by investing in an established business with a proven model, you can! We have an extensive selection of thriving retail franchises just waiting for savvy investors to get involved with. Take a look at our current investment opportunities; you’ll be able to refine your selection by sub-sector or sort the list by brand popularity and investment level.

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