Home Retail Group, which owns Argos and Homebase, launched its second year of sharesave in June to more than 44,000 eligible members of staff. It offered shares at a 20% discount.
In its first year, over 21% of all eligible staff joined the scheme, but in the second year only 13% of eligible employees signed up to it.
Although this is a drop from the previous year, the group says it is satisfied with the take-up given the background to the second launch. The retail sector had suffered big falls in share prices and the group’s own share price had dropped by more than 40% since the first launch. A spokeswoman said: “Over 20% of the eligible population are now in one or both of the Home Retail Group schemes, which we believe is a good result.” It put this down to employees’ faith in the company’s long-term future, but also to a strong communications package that included a promotion on payslips and manager packs for each store. It also used staff presentations, briefing sheets, posters, chocolate coins and flyers, features in its in-house magazines and adverts on Homebase FM radio. Application packs were sent to employees’ home addressees. During the application period, there was also a countdown on the intranet and electronic message boards.