Argos launches new gadget trade-in service at stores nationwide

27th July 2015

Shoppers can now trade-in their unwanted gadgets at Argos stores up and down the country in the first ever initiative launched by a generalist UK retailer, which offers an immediate quote and redemption.

Argos, in partnership with circular economy experts WRAP, has introduced the innovative new service at all its 788 UK stores; providing a convenient way for customers to realise the value in their unwanted gadgets and at the same time present new opportunities for the high street store to build customer loyalty and brand value. 

This new service is the result of the EU Life+ funded REBus project1 which, led by WRAP, helps companies implement commercially attractive and resource efficient business models that keep products, and their materials, in use for longer.

Potential for this kind of business model is underpinned by WRAP’s research, which estimates UK householders have around £1 billion worth of electrical and electronic equipment in their homes that is no longer used2, and two-thirds of those surveyed said they would be willing to trade in their tech products with reputable retailers3.

If customers decide to trade-in their gadget (initially mobile phones and tablets), they will get an Argos gift card to spend on anything in the Argos range of 50,000+ products. The items are then refurbished in the UK and re-sold. 

Amy Whidburn, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Argos, said: “As a leading technology retailer we know that our customers are looking for solutions to responsibly dispose of unwanted gadgets when they replace or trade-up devices. By working with WRAP, we’ve been able to find the most effective path for our business to offer this and achieve wide-scale company buy-in to the business model. A model that has scalability, commercial potential and credibility, which all adds critical value to our brand. 

“Depending on the response from customers, we may extend the scheme to include other electrical items in the future, such as camera, sat-navs or laptops.”

Marcus Gover, Director at WRAP, said: “It’s fantastic to see this kind of service become available over Argos store counters. Resource efficient business models mean we can get the most out of a product economically and environmentally whilst offering real opportunities for business growth.  We hope that Argos’s success will pave the way for change and give others confidence to embrace the circular economy.”

Argos’s gadget trade-in service is one of a number of pilots supported by the EU Life+ funded REBus project – through which WRAP is helping businesses take action and make the circular economy a reality.  For more information visit

Watch this short video case study to find out more about the development of the gadget trade-in service with insights from Argos and WRAP. 

In the UK WRAP also runs the sustainability action plan, esap4, which is working with the electrical & electronic sector to revolutionise how we design, manufacture, sell, repair, re-use, and recycle electrical and electronic products. Argos’s new gadget trade-in service is helping deliver esap by extending the life of products in a commercially attractive way that’s good for business, good for consumers and good for the environment. 


Notes to editors:

VIDEO: Watch the Argos/WRAP video case study

outlining how they brought the new gadget trade-in service to fruition. 

For more information on the case study see here -


  1. The REBus project is supported by the contribution of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Community. The REBus project is a partnership of Rijkswaterstaat, The Aldersgate Group, the University of Northampton, Knowledge Transfer Network and is led by WRAP.
  2. Estimate based on two TNS omnibus waves (1,223 and 1,258 households) in January 2013.
  3. Consumer demand for resource efficient business models on electrical products  –
  4. esap, which launched in 2014 already has over 60 organisations from the electricals sector signed up. For more information about esap please visit or get in touch via


  • UK householders have around £1bn worth of electrical and electronic equipment in their homes that they no longer use but which still hold significant value
  • Nearly 40% of disposed electrical products go to landfill
  • Two thirds of consumers are willing to trade in tech products through a reputable retailer


For further media information contact: 

ARGOS: Press Office on 0845 120 4365 or email:

WRAP: 01295 819619

About Argos:  Argos is a leading UK digital retailer, offering around 50,000 products through, its growing mobile channels, stores and over the telephone.

Argos continues to be the UK’s largest high street retailer online with around 121m customer transactions a year through its stores and over 900 million website and app visits in the 12 months to February 2015.  Customers can take advantage of Argos’ convenient Check & Reserve service available through its network of 788 stores across the UK and Republic of Ireland.

In the financial year to February 2015, Argos sales were £4.1 billion and it employed some 29,000 people across the business. 

About WRAP:

WRAP’s vision is a world where resources are used sustainably. It works in partnership with governments, businesses, trade bodies, local authorities, communities and individuals looking for practical advice to improve resource efficiency that delivers both economic and environmental benefits. @WRAP_UK

Our mission is to accelerate the move to a sustainable resource-efficient economy through: re-inventing how we design, produce and sell products; re-thinking how we use and consume products; and, re-defining what is possible through re-use and recycling.

First established in 2000, WRAP is a registered charity.  WRAP works with UK governments and other funders to help deliver their policies on waste prevention and resource efficiency.  WRAP is a registered Charity No 1159512 and registered as a Company limited by guarantee in England & Wales No 4125764. Registered office at Second Floor, Blenheim Court, 19 George Street, Banbury, Oxon, OX16 5BH.



Clare Usher

PR Officer
01295 819678