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Many Index stores were attached to Littlewoods stores. It was a well-known retailer in the 1980s and the 1990s, but after sales began to decline in the 2000s, its popularity became disputable and it started losing many customers to its rival, Argos.
During their 20-year history, Index lost £100 million, eventually causing Littlewoods to sell the shops. GUS plc, then the owner of Argos, purchased 33 Index stores to be converted into Argos stores.
Similarities to Argos
Both Argos and Index issued catalogues containing very similar items, although Argos has more appeal to the UK market than Index had in the later years. They both had jewellery counters, stock checkers, the same basis of catalogue slips and the same type of organisation, with the customer having to state the catalogue number when ordering products from the tills.
Differences from Argos
Some Index shops were situated inside Littlewoods department-stores, either upstairs or below ground level making them less accessible than Argos shops, which have ground-level shop floors.
Littlewoods closed all its Index branches in 2005. Of these, 33 were sold to GUS plc, and around 800 Index employees were transferred to Argos.
Argos also acquired the rights to Index.co.uk and the Index brand.