Argos launches new gadget take-back service

UK retailer Argos has today (27 July) announced the launch of a new gadget take-back service that will allow consumers to trade in their unwanted mobile phones and tablets for store credit.

Argos launches new gadget trade-in service

The scheme, which is being rolled out across all of the company’s 788 UK stores, will provide customers with an immediate quote and an Argos gift card loaded with the sum if they choose to sell.

Items that have been traded in will then be refurbished in the UK and re-sold, or recycled for parts.

Argos claims to be the first generalist UK retailer to offer the service, which it hopes will provide a ‘convenient way for customers to realise the value in their unwanted gadgets, and at the same time present new opportunities for the high street store to build customer loyalty and brand value’.

The service is the result of the Waste & Resources Action Programme’s (WRAP) ‘Developing resource efficient business models (REBus)’ project, which aims to help companies implement commercially-attractive and resource-efficient business models.

WRAP’s research discovered that two-thirds of UK households would be willing to trade in their disused gadgets (which WRAP estimates could be worth £1 billion) to reputable retailers.

Plans to extend scheme in future

Amy Whidburn, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Argos, said: “We know that our customers are looking for solutions to responsibly dispose of unwanted gadgets when they replace or trade-up devices.

“By working with WRAP, we’ve been able to find the most effective path for our business to offer this and achieve wide-scale company buy-in to the business model. A model that has scalability, commercial potential and credibility, which all adds critical value to our brand.

“Depending on the response from customers, we may extend the scheme to include other electrical items in the future, such as camera, sat-navs or laptops.”

Marcus Gover, Director at WRAP, added: “It’s fantastic to see this kind of service become available over Argos store counters. Resource efficient business models mean we can get the most out of a product economically and environmentally whilst offering real opportunities for business growth.  We hope that Argos’s success will pave the way for change and give others confidence to embrace the circular economy.”

Find out more about the Argos scheme or Resource Efficient Business Models.  

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