HOT 100 BUSINESS BIG SHOTS: Sarah Filippardos, Head of Trading – Jewellery & Watches, Argos

Sarah Filippardos, head of trading, jewellery & watches, Argos

Jewellery and watches are an incredibly important part of high street stalwart Argos’ wider business plan given that it now boasts specialist ‘shop in shops’ in most of its 850 stores.

So there is little doubt what’s been keeping Sarah Filippardos occupied since she hooked up with the well-known retail giant at the end of last year.

“My role is to lead the trading team of buyers and merchandisers, and since joining the business I have been designing a strategy that will ultimately improve our presence in the UK market,” explains Sarah, who joins at a time when the company is making rapid headway with its digital strategy.

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“As we initiate our new strategy, we’re changing the way we do things in stores to really maximise our offer, and to support our fantastic retail colleagues – their passion and energy is really quite amazing.”

As you’d expect with one of the most accessible jewellery retailers in the market, the Argos buying team is tasked with bringing the most compelling product lines to customers at fantastic prices, but once you scratch beneath the surface there is far more to the business model than pure affordability.

One of the most subtle but significant changes the retailer has made is an alteration to the way in which product is displayed in store and in print – after all, it’s famous bumper catalogue is still a hit with customers irrespective of the rows of tablets that populate some of its branches.

“Our displays are refreshed and the catalogue pages are re-organised and re-designed,” says Sarah. “We’ve just launched our first Fairtrade gold wedding rings, re-worked our core product ranges and introduced some great new collections.

We’re already working on many more exciting things ready for the next year, and beyond – diamonds continue to be strong, but we’re adding lots more colour and some fantastic brands across jewellery and watches.” Sarah insists these moves are resonating with customers – judging by the jewellery volumes it is renowned for it’s hard to disagree.

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