1987 Argos Christmas Ad
Argos is the largest general-goods retailer in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland with over 700 stores. Argos is unique amongst major retailers in the U.K. because its primary means of displaying goods to customers is via a catalogue. Customers browse through the Argos catalogue, select items to purchase, pay for the items, and then collect the items from the in-store collection desk or have the item delivered to their home.
Argos owns several brands including Elizabeth Duke (jewellery, see below, but dropped in the latest catalogue), Mikomi and many others.
Richard Tompkins founded Green Shield Stamps in the UK. Whilst on holiday in the Greek island of Argos he came up with the idea that people could purchase goods from his “Green Shield Gift House” with cash rather than savings stamps.
In 1972, it became apparent that the business should go in this direction, so he rebranded the Green Shield Gift House as Argos, after the place he dreamt the idea up.
The original Green Shield Stamps ‘catalogue’ shops were rebranded Argos beginning in July 1973.
The first purpose built store opened on the A28, Sturry Road, Canterbury in late 1973.
So, Argos launched in July 1973 with 1000 members of staff, taking £1,000,000 during a week in November. Argos was purchased by BAT Industries in 1979 for a deal worth £32 million. The following year, Argos opened its Elizabeth Duke jewellery counter (named after the director’s wife) and by 1982 was the UK’s 4th biggest jewellery retailer.
Green Shield Stamps can still be used in Argo to this day.
Info taken from Wikipedia