Argos, one of the UK’s leading multi-channel retailers, will join the Future High Streets Forum, High Streets Minister Brandon Lewis announced today (21 January 2014).
The Future High Streets Forum brings together leading businesses, academics and local leaders to look at the challenges facing our town centres and to work with councils to build on what government has started.
Mr Lewis said he was delighted that John Walden, Managing Director of Argos, had accepted his invitation to join the forum and that their help looking at how digital technology can support the high street would be invaluable.
A competition to challenge businesses to come up with innovative digital ideas to boost the high streets was recently announced as part of a £1 billion package of support that includes new tax breaks for shops, sensible changes to planning and parking rules, together with more power for councils.
High Streets Minister Brandon Lewis said:
Competition from online stores means Britain’s shopping culture is changing and our high streets need to respond and exploit digital channels in a way that attracts people to the high street.
Argos is at the very forefront of ‘click and collect’ retail and John Walden brings with him a wealth of multi-channel retail and technology experience which will be an enormous asset as he joins the rest of our experts on the Future High Street Forum.
John Walden, Argos Managing Director said:
I am delighted to accept the minister’s invitation. I firmly believe the continued vibrancy and viability of our high streets will depend on their ability to adapt to the changing consumer needs as the digital world fundamentally and irreversibly changes the way we live our lives.
John Walden joined Argos as Managing Director in February 2012.
He started his retail career in the 1990s as Chief Operating Officer of Peapod, a pioneer in online supermarket retailing. He joined Best Buy, the giant US electricals retailer, in 1999 as President of its internet and direct channels division, and over an 8 year career also served as Executive Vice President, Human Capital and Leadership, and ultimately as Executive Vice President of its customer business group.
John later moved to Sears where, as Chief Customer Officer and Executive Vice President, he led marketing, merchandising and the internet, catalogue and home services divisions. More recently, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of Inversion Inc, a retail consultancy, and Chief Executive of Activeion Cleaning Solutions.
On 16 January 2014, Home Retail Group plc announced John Walden would be its new Chief Executive.