Argos launches nationwide gadget trade-in scheme
Argos is embracing the circular economy with the rollout of a new gadget trade-in service across the retailer's 788 UK stores.
The catalogue shop chain has partnered with WRAP for the new scheme, which offers an immediate quote and redemption for unwanted mobile phones and tablet devices. (Scroll down for video).
In turn for trading in their gadgets, customers will receive an Argos gift card to spend on anything in the Argos range. The items are then refurbished in the UK and re-sold.
Argos’ head of corporate responsibility Amy Whidburn 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.”
Whidburn added that, depending on the response from customers, Argos may extend the scheme to include other electrical items in the future, such as camera, sat-navs or laptops.
This new service is the result of WRAP’s REBus project, funded by EU Life+, which helps companies implement commercially attractive and resource efficient business models that keep products and their materials in use for longer.
Paving the way
WRAP research estimates UK householders have around £1bn worth of electrical and electronic equipment in their homes that is no longer used, and two-thirds of those surveyed said they would be willing to trade in their tech products with reputable retailers.
The organisation’s director Marcus Gover 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.”
The rise of the 'sharing economy', service-orientated business models and leasing schemes are beginning to make waves in the sustainability space across the globe. In the UK, WRAP's chief executive Liz Goodwin recently said that servitisation and the circular economy 'go hand-in-hand'. Goodwin cited the example of another consumer electrics company, LG, which now offers a 'circular' repair scheme; providing a same-day service to fix any of their goods, large or small.
WRAP also runs the sustainability action plan, esap, which is working with the electrical & electronics sector to revolutionise how businesses design, manufacture, sell, repair, re-use, and recycle electrical and electronic products.
VIDEO: Argos/WRAP case study