Hot 100 2014: Alice Rigby, Argos

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Argos' jewellery buying manager on diversifying product ranges.

Does the jam go on to a scone before the cream or after? That’s a question Alice Rigby will soon be able to answer, now that she’s traced her family lineage to picturesque Padstow in Cornwall.

But don’t be fooled by Alice’s penchant for a traditional English tea room, because hidden behind the bunting is a mind bursting with knowledge that’s helping to take Argos from a catalogue-proposition to a digitally-led market leader.

Part of this journey involves developing the Argos jewellery range, which Alice has already made signifi cant headway with through the expansion of the Designers at Argos range, and a successful collaboration with the Birmingham School of Jewellery.

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“Both of these initiatives have allowed us to differentiate our product range by offering our customers increased choice and more bespoke products, at the same time as developing and supporting the growth and the reach of smaller UK companies and individuals in the jewellery industry,” explains Alice.

Aiming to ensure the Argos website is inspirational and browser-friendly, Alice has been working with product development to identify key seasonal trends and bring them to life through photography and a splash of editorial content.

“The catalogue has historically been our shop window,” Alice concedes, “but as the business transforms we see the catalogue playing a different but important role in spring-boarding customers to see our extended ranges and richer content such as videos and photography online.”

Describing herself as “passionate about jewellery and customers”, Alice combines her natural creativity with a strong commercial eye and fi rm-but-fair leadership qualities. With a cup of tea in hand, she concludes: “It’s a really exciting time for the business and what’s even better is that the industry and our customers are noticing changes and reacting positively to them.”

Alice Rigby was named IJL Retail Stars in the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2014, in association with headline sponsor Pandora and principle partner The Company of Master Jewellers.

To read a digital version of the Hot 100 2014 book in full online, click here.

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