Return of the Christmas Stocking as Families Opt for Frugal Fillers

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Argos anticipate the return of the traditional stocking that parents and grandparents will remember as families cutback.

The stocking filler toy is making a big comeback this year according to Argos, the UK's number one toy retailer. In a year when families have faced cutbacks Father Christmas is likely to be making deliveries of many more smaller items, rather than big blockbuster presents, hailing a return of the traditional stocking that parents and grandparents will remember.

Argos has reported that sales of lower priced pocket-money toys are storming with 70% of last week's top 20 selling toys costing under £10. Tens of thousands of Go Go Hamsters (£9.99) have been sold, demand for the In the Night Garden Makka Pakka Talking Plush (£8.49) is up 500% over the last four weeks and 20,000 Chad Valley Shopping Trolleys (£9.99) are stacked up at Argos warehouses destined to be delivered before 25 December.

Ian Chaplin, Trading Manager for Toys at Argos says: "We're seeing that this Christmas is not about kids getting one big present, which has become the trend over the last few years. Parents are making up for having to make cutbacks by going for the effect of lots of smaller priced items. Last year the big present of the moment was the Nintendo Wii console at more than £150. This year it's the Go Go Hamster, which is under £10."    

The stocking filler trend explains the current craze for Go Go Hamsters, one of Argos' Top Ten Toys for Christmas, which has seen customers scrambling to get hold of them before they scurry out of stores. As the UK's number one in toys Argos has managed to secure good stock levels and has just taken delivery of tens of thousands more of the racing rodents to keep up with demand, with more to come.

Chaplin continues: "Go Go Hamsters have proved to be extremely popular with demand at Argos up ten-fold in the space of three weeks. We received tens of thousands of the hamsters into stores at the end of last week but they're so hot they sell out very quickly. We will be getting more deliveries of the hamsters in time for Christmas."

For more information contact iris PR:
Kathryn Smith:07950 329 375
Press office: 020 7922 8111

Notes to editors

About Argos
Argos is a unique retailer recognised for choice, value and convenience. It sells general merchandise and products for the home from over 700 stores throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland, online and over the telephone. In the last financial year, Argos sales were £4.3 billion.

Argos serves over 130 million customers a year through its stores. On average, 18 million UK households, or around two thirds of the population, have an Argos catalogue at home at any time.

Argos expects to add around 20 stores this year. Its internet site, http://www.argos.co.uk, was the most visited high street retailer online in the UK in 2008.

Argos is part of Home Retail Group, the UK's leading home and general merchandise retailer.

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Kathryn Smith
Argos
07950 329 375
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