The news of Argos closing all of their Irish stores this year has been met with mixed response.
Naturally, there were concerns for the 400 employees who would lose their jobs when the 34 Irish stores shut. It's believed that staff were only informed of the decision to close on the same morning the news was announced to the country, 19th of January this year.
Some may not have found themselves inside an Argos for years, favouring online shopping over the mysterious quick order booths and hefty laminated catalogues in store.
Others were genuinely dismayed at the news of Argos leaving Ireland - there were definitely a few gasps of disbelief in our office on that fateful day in January. I myself would be no stranger to habitually veering towards the Argos website to look up pretty much anything - camping equipment, hair dryers, lampshades, you name it. Anytime someone in my life is on the hunt for something obscure, I whip open the Argos website to see if I can help them on their quest. Sure, there've been plenty of occasions where nothing I'm searching for is in stock, but Argos has more than served its duty over the years, particularly during the Catalogue days of yore.
The Argos catalogue cover, 1995
I remember the genuine excitement picking up an Argos catalogue ahead of Christmas evoked - the relentless flicking through the pages, circling what you wanted and then beginning all over again in case there was something you missed. The toy pages in the early years, the Groovy Chick bedsheets, inflatable couches and Homer Simpson alarm clocks as the years went on - the brief dalliance with the Elizabeth Duke jewellery counter which I always look back upon fondly. Those bejewelled doll necklaces and gold plated sovereign rings never saw me coming.
Elizabeth Duke in all her glory.
Whether you still frequented Argos or not, its legacy is felt in this country. I'd confidently guarantee that one task nearly every Irish household prioritised over the years would be updating their catalogue as soon as the new one came out - sure you never know what you could be missing. There are older people who are so accustomed to hitting up Argos for bits for the house, electronics and what have you, for whom shopping online isn't an option.
All there really is to say is farewell, sweet blue-and-red catalogue. Your absence will be felt in homes the width and breadth of the country.
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