WRAP (The Waste & Resources Action Programme)

Argos launches new gadget trade-in service at stores nationwide


Shoppers can now trade-in their unwanted gadgets at Argos stores up and down the country in the first ever initiative launched by a generalist UK retailer, which offers an immediate quote and redemption.

Argos, in partnership with circular economy experts WRAP, has introduced the innovative new service at all its 788 UK stores; providing a convenient way for customers to realise the value in their unwanted gadgets and at the same time present new opportunities for the high street store to build customer loyalty and brand value. 

This new service is the result of the EU Life+ funded REBus project1 which, led by WRAP, 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 £1 billion worth of electrical and electronic equipment in their homes that is no longer used2, and two-thirds of those surveyed said they would be willing to trade in their tech products with reputable retailers3.

If customers decide to trade-in their gadget (initially mobile phones and tablets), they will get an Argos gift card to spend on anything in the Argos range of 50,000+ products. 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.”

Argos’s gadget trade-in service is one of a number of pilots supported by the EU Life+ funded REBus project – through which WRAP is helping businesses take action and make the circular economy a reality.  For more information visitwww.rebus.eu.com.

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. 

In the UK WRAP also runs the sustainability action plan, esap4, which is working with the electrical & electronic sector to revolutionise how we design, manufacture, sell, repair, re-use, and recycle electrical and electronic products. Argos’s new gadget trade-in service is helping deliver esap by extending the life of products in a commercially attractive way that’s good for business, good for consumers and good for the environment.

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