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What did Argos promote for the music festival season?

By Chris Elliott

The popularity of music-based events in the UK, including music festivals, has risen greatly in recent years. According to UK Music, the number of people travelling to music events has increased by 34 percent between 2011 and 2014 to 9.5 million people, generating “£3.1 billion pounds in direct and indirect spend.”

Many retailers now annually promote products ahead of the festival season, as festival-goers look to stock up on essentials, such as tents and folding camping chairs.

Argos reported that in the first quarter of last year (13 weeks to 30 May 2014) it sold 32,000 folding camping chairs. On publishing the full year results (52 weeks to 28 February 2015) Argos highlighted the strong sales of seasonal items, including folding camping chairs, as a principle reason for the 0.6 percent increase in total sales.

Argos ‘Festival Season’ Promotions

This year Argos produced a landing page of promotions dedicated to the ‘Festival season.’ On the page of promotions, targeted at festival-goers, Argos advertised camping goods including tents, airbeds and camping furniture.

argos festival promotions
Argos website 9 July 2015


Brand View has reviewed the promotions on the festival essentials promoted by Argos from the 1 May to 9 July 2015.

Of the products promoted for ‘Festival Season’, the ultimate camping essential, tents, were the most heavily discounted by Argos; the average shelf price dropped by 9.1 percent since 1 May 2015.

The average shelf price of camping furniture fell 8.2 percent and saw the second greatest drop in pricing.

The analysis shows that Argos consistently reduced the pricing of festival essentials on a Wednesday prior to the major music festival weekends, presumably to capture sales from poorly prepared festival-goers.

It reduced the price of tents by 4.8 percent on the Wednesday before Isle of Wight festival, 1.9 percent the Wednesday before Glastonbury and 3.8 percent on Wednesday 8 July, two days before the T in the Park festival.

average price festival promos

Tent promotions: Depth of cut by tent capacity

Of the 33 tents listed by Argos, the promotions were focused on two and four person tents, to cater for the needs of both individuals, couples and groups.

Only one single person tent, the Vango Soul 100, was listed; this was unlikely to be purchased by festival-goers, as the price of £49.99 was almost double that of own-label and Trespass two man tents.

tents by size

Argos offered the greatest discounts on two person tents with an average depth of cut of 44.6 percent.

In the two week period between 28 May 2015 and 10 June 2015 the average depth of cut increased to 47.8 percent before falling on 11 June 2015, which coincided with the start of the Isle of Wight festival.

There was a fall in the average depth of cut on four and six man tents on 20 May, which contradicts the drop in price observed. This is because Argos made the promoted price the new base price.

On 25 June these tents were promoted again, on a lower depth of cut deal; in essence the product was reduced twice, therefore there was a fall in average shelf price despite the depth of cut falling.

depth of cut tents in argos

Argos made minimal changes to the average depth of cut on tents on 24 June ahead of Glastonbury. Instead it reduced the base price of seven tents, six of which were Trespass tents and one own-label.

Portable speakers: The new festival essential

Portable speakers are rapidly becoming a new festival essential for festival campers.

At the time of writing Argos listed more than 100 portable speakers products, ranging from the £4.99 Bush portable speaker, to the £259.99 Jawbone Bigjambox – designed for home usage.

Of the 100 portable speakers in its range, Argos stocked the most products within the £0 – £24.99 price range; more than half are own-label Bush speakers.

Almost 50 percent of the portable speakers listed were priced at over £100. Despite being listed as ‘portable’ these products, from such manufacturers as Bose and IN2UIT, are more suited for home-use.

shelf price speakers

When comparing the price of portable speakers priced below £100 in Argos, with Currys, John Lewis and Tesco Direct, Argos was the most expensive retailer.

The greatest disparity in price with its competitors was for the Jabra speakers; Argos was on average more than double the price of Currys. Currys had the Jabra Solemate Mini portable speaker on promotion at £39.97, whereas Argos was selling the product for £79.99.

argos competitor speaker pricingArgos was also more expensive on Kitsound and Ultimate Ears portable speakers by an average of 39.1 percent.

Argos was closer in price to Currys and John Lewis on Sony speakers, but still 14.3 and 13 percent more expensive respectively – this is because both Currys and John Lewis promoted these products for the festival season.

Argos comparatively high pricing on branded items perhaps indicates it is encouraging shoppers towards purchasing its own-label Bush speakers which were promoted heavily.

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