Argos to close its Thetford town centre store to relocate to inside a nearby Sainsbury’s

Argos was among the employers named. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Argos was among the employers named. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

Argos is to close its Thetford town centre store and relocate to inside a nearby supermarket - leaving an empty unit in the town's main shopping area.

The firm's new 'digital store' inside Sainsbury's in Thetford will open on May 3, replacing the Riverside Walk store which is due to shut a day earlier.

No jobs have been lost as part of the move, as all staff have been reployed, with a Sainsbury's spokesman saying it 'brings extra choice and convenience to customers'.

A statement from the supermarket chain - which acquired the Home Retail Group, which owns Argos and Habitat, in September last year - added: 'The combination of Sainsbury's and Argos will enable customers to shop conveniently through different online, mobile and store channels.

'It will also give customers more choice across different product ranges, creating the UK's largest non-food retailer.'

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Tom Niblock, manager at Sainsbury's Thetford store, said: 'Sainsbury's has been a part of the local community for a number of years and we are really thrilled to welcome Argos and its team to our store.

'The new shop is great for customers, who are looking for easier, more convenient ways to shop. We're looking forward to feedback from customers about the increased range and offer.'

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Sainsbury's pledges that the new Argos will be 'equipped for shopping in the digital age, with tablets that mirror the online shopping experience and staff on hand to help'.

Part of the reason for the focus on a digital store would seem to be people's changing shopping habits - around half of Argos' total sales now start online, even though 80pc of customers still visit an Argos store to pick up their goods.

The store will also include an eBay collection point, where people can collect pruchases made on the shopping website.

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