Argos is to begin a gadget trade-in service at its 788 stores across the country. It is the first first ever initiative launched by a generalist UK retailer, which offers an immediate quote and redemption and offers store gift cards in return for the used gadgets.
This new service is the result of the EU Life+ funded REBus project. Led by WRAP, the project helps companies implement commercially attractive and resource efficient business models that keep products, and their materials, in use for longer.
Potential for this kind of business model is underpinned by WRAP’s research, which estimates UK householders have around £1bn worth of electrical and electronic equipment in their homes that is no longer used. Two-thirds of the people surveyed in WRAP’s research said they would be willing to trade in their tech products with reputable retailers.
The scheme will initially be just for mobile phones and tablets and will see shoppers receive an Argos gift card. The items are then refurbished in the UK and re-sold.
Amy Whidburn, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Argos, said: “As a leading technology retailer 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, said: “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.”
Watch this short video case study to find out more about the development of the gadget trade-in service with insights from Argos and WRAP.