High street chain Argos suffered another slide in sales over the summer as demand for televisions and tablet computers remained weak.
The firm, owned by Home Retail Group, saw comparable store sales drop 2.8% in its second quarter after a disappointing August, although this was a marked improvement on the 3.9% slide in the previous three months.
Argos, which has around 25 stores in Northern Ireland, said the sales of electrical products, as well as white goods such as fridges and dishwashers, continued to come under pressure, although toy sales were strong over the summer. Like-for-like sales across Argos over the half year as a whole were 3.4% lower.
The figures come in stark contrast to those of rival Dixons Carphone, which celebrated growth in electrical sales in an impressive performance in the quarter to August 1.
Home Retail saw overall trading buoyed by Homebase as like-for-like sales across the DIY chain lifted 5.9% in its second quarter.
However, this was partly driven by stock clearance sales as it closed eight stores over the summer. Total sales across Homebase fell 2.8% due to the shop closures, while profit margins also dropped.