The two brands, which were bought from Alba plc for £15.3m, join jewellery range Elizabeth Duke and budget electronics name Mikomi within the Argos own-brand portfolio.
Pali International retail analyst Nick Bubb said Argos could benefit from strengthening its low-end product range due to polarisation in the electronics market. 'Electricals is a difficult market at the moment, but [Argos] wants to combat the supermarkets' own activities. The move is not dissimilar to Tesco launching its own value brands.'
Argos, which is owned by Home Retail Group, has acquired the intellectual property rights to the trademarks for exclusive use on 'consumer electronics and certain other goods.' It said it had made the acquisition because the brands had a 'strong heritage, high awareness and purchase frequency with Argos customers'.
How-ever, sales figures indicate that Bush and Alba, which were at their most popular in the 70s and 80s, have been in decline (see graph).
Retail consultant Geoff Smith said Argos could be planning to expand the brand names to other categories. 'It will have done its research to see how strong these brands are,' he said.
'Without the footfall driver of food and groceries that the supermarkets have, and less money in the market, Argos is relying on strengthening its market share and high-street footfall with these brands,' Smith added.
The Bush and Alba brands are currently sold in Argos, Comet and Tesco stores, as well as through online retailers.