DSG International (DSGi) shares fell nine per cent this morning following the retail giant’s second profit warning in under four months. The firm’s CEO John Browett issued a statement today in which he admitted that customer demand in the UK and Ireland has been “lower than expected, with a negative impact on margins”. He told …
no surprise here, move along folks
It's not difficult to see why DSG have problems. On two recent trips I experienced the following:
Curries (in West London) - their staff were huddled round gassing away to each other and swearing profusely. Customers were queuing at the till and service counters but the staff seemed to have little if any interest in serving them.
At PC World, and Curries - they occasionally have a Mac on display but typically have few if any iPod accessories. Many people are switching from PC to Mac, and most MP3 players sold are iPods. If they can't service the needs of the former, or sell accessories for the latter - they are simply missing out on easy sales.
The Mgt of DSG need to spend a day at an Apple store if they want to learn how to "do" retail properly. Until then, their sales will be cannibalised by high street retailers that do get it, and online retailers who have a well executed strategy.
As that's quite unlikely, DSG will muddle on until their shareholders revolt and boot the Mgt team out.
It always amazes me..
..how business people expect infinite, continued growth to be possible.
Paris because even she knows that what goes up must ~ahem~ go down.
I walked into a curry's digital this morning to buy a Canon Ixus 75 - advertised as 125 on Dixons website. In store price £150 - would they match no - they only match to currys website. They are the same bl**dy company. Idiots. The end result - no sale. And I wanted a memory card too - didn't care what they charged me for that.
Perhaps they should sit up and take notice. 20% extra for buying in store is just silly.
(Paris because she is worth the extra 20%)
Keep telling yourself that...
"It is clear that customers have become increasingly promotion- and deal-driven,"
Yeah, right. Either that or they've realised how shit your service, store, products and staff are.
so I recently bought a new telly... Nice new Sony... had a look around at various places for the best price.
£650 compared to Curry's £1100... guess where I went.
PCWorld and Currys have always been overpriced, and have always had terrible customer service - I'm surprised they've stayed in business so long. With more people getting online and getting more "tech savvy" this can only get worse for them, and good riddance imo.
I have had nothing but trouble dealing with PC world. failed deliveries, cancelled deliveres and deliveries being "lost in transit"
thir staff are ill informed about some of the products they sel.
On asking one about a monitors response time, he didnt know what hat was, and thats a piece of basic information I would expect a sales person to know about !
I even once had staff forget to charge me for a motherboard at the till. I didnt realise till after I had left the shop, sat in the car and checked my reciept !
I avoid the DSG now.
I think it's about time DSG had problems, they are the perfect example of an electrical retailer sent from the last century. Their staff are ignorant of most of the products they sell and only seem to be bothered about stiffing people out of their hard earned. I agree with Anonymous Coward; DSG really ought to take a look at how Apple do retail, at least all their staff have a good working knowledge of what their selling. If DSG doesn't buck its ideas up it'll go the same way as Tempo, another failed retailer more bothered about screwing people for profit than actually caring about the customer.
"It is clear that customers have become increasingly promotion- and deal-driven,"
errr no, we want good prices all the time, from shops with friendly, helpful, knowledgeable staff....pay monkeys, get peanuts....
... users are finally wising up to the fact that the average PC World employee knows less than they do. Maybe they are getting sick and tired of being pestered to take out an extended warranty that costs almost as much as it would to replace a machine of the same spec in a year's time. Maybe they don't much appreciate buying a machine dubbed as being Vista ready when it actually means "you will be able to boot the OS (barely) but woe betide anyone who actually wants to run anything else on it."
I find PC World staff have a remarkable ability of being able to get on my tits and a remarkable inability to answer even the simplest of queries about their products accurately. A conversation many moons ago springs to mind.
Me: These CDs don't display their supported write speed. Don't suppose you'd be able to find out would you?
Assistant: Er... (buggers off for 5 minutes)
Assistant: They'll do 750MB
Me: Riggghhhht. Goodbye.
I avoid buying anything from PC World like the plague these days. If I feel the need to remind myself why I occasionally wander in and have a browse. I try to avoid Currys too but sometimes their prices aren't half bad, although I usually regret it when at 3PM I am still stuck at home waiting for them to arrive for their scheduled delivery slot of between 8AM and 2PM.
Who the hell shops in PC World anyway? Do these people have money to burn?
It always amazes me too...
...that as well as expecting infinite growth, they also assume that daft advertising will make up for their high prices. I couldn't get on to pcworld.co.uk today to check, but last time I remembered looking, generally items like processors were 1.5-2x as expensive as any other e-tailer. I know that this probably isn't their main sales group, by far, but it is indicative of their pricing policy.
They can reap what they've sowed I reckon.
Went into a Dixons/Curry store on high street in Slough to purchase a Canon EOS400 kit. They had posters in the window regarding the deal on. Had to wait the longest time for someone to even notice I was there, then stated that I would have to go online to get the product. Instead walked across the walkway to Jessops and purchased the same camera for a little bit more but a lot less hassle. I will not even go into a Currys store anymore.
Perhaps £242 is too high?
"DSGi said it now expects to see between £200m and £210m for the year – consensus forecasts had initially been set at £242."
I suspect that the forecast of £242 was set by the 'customers' of PC World and not anyone in the financial industry? (Yes I know it should have an 'm' at the end...)
I used to do contract IT work for DSG in a past life... and i tell ya (in agreement with AC..) There managers and project managers dontknow a damn thing and seem to care even less... no wonder ppl are finally wising up to it and i hope their share price falls beyond anything ever seen...
Msg to employee's... quick, get a job at maplins!! oh, and i doubt DSG would even honour redundancy payouts.
Yeah i keep telling myself not to go to those two shops.
On recent visits to those shops, i needed a USB cable and a HDMI cable.
In PC world a USB cable will cost you 20 quid, online from Amazon i could get a similar thing for a fiver.
In currys a HDMI will cost you 50 quid! ouch! Once again i found similar items on Amazon for between 5 and 20 quid.
Most items i have bought in the past from PC world i have taken back after thinking about it for a bit then realising i had probably been ripped off.
Yes, its easy just to get into the habit of wondering into stores like that and just paying their prices. Now i tell myself not to do it and shop online and just wait for it to turn up in the post a few days later.
As someone else said on here, PC world is the pits when it comes to buying Apple stuff, indeed go into the Apple store and they look after you and you can find what you want in a few minutes.
Finally why do stores like PC World and Currys always seem to employ the same retarded acne pimpled clueless teenagers who can never answer a single question without having the read the back of the box right in front of you first.
Hurrah! The end is (hopefully!) near!
I agree with most people the way DSG run their business is near criminal, over priced and ill informed advice. Wrong label pricing, poor displays and 'internet price' scams.
I can see why they have got away with it for so long, think about the layman. You want a PC and where is guaranteed to sell the PC World, its all in the name.
They all die in the end with their last century attitude, look at Trend, Time and Byte.
Paris because she is better than The Tech Guys any day!
Customer Service stinks
I bought a DAB radio/CD stereo for the kitchen from Currys. After nine months it stopped spinning up CDs. So I took it in to Currys. They had no suitable replacement as I needed Line In (to pipe sound from the lounge stereo) and insisted they could only offer vouchers as an alternative. I took them because there was no budging the store manager, but insisted I should have a cash refund.
Took about two weeks of emailing their customer disservice centre, who insisted that the store manager was within his rights. I pointed out that legally he was not, and got a reply back that they didn't know about that, but wouldn't budge. They claimed there was "nothing more they could do". I pointed out that that was not true, there was no law of the land nor of nature that forbade the store manager reaching into the till and giving me the cash.
Finally had to write to head office with threats of legal action. Got my money back.
On the other hand, once ordered a dishwasher from Currys online. When it came, it didn't have one of the features it was advertised with. Phoned them up, pointed out the goods were not as sold, and I had a contract with them to supply goods which did have the advertised features. Within a week the unit was replaced by Currys with another one costing £150 more at no cost to me.
So I suppose it depends who you get.
No please don't
I already have to go into the stores secretly seeing as my wife has stopped me from staff baiting.
Let them stay open for a while longer I never buy anything but I'd miss my occasional fix of watching monkeys squirm when being asked the most basic of queries.
Clueless staff can be to your advantage
I totally agree with all the comments regarding the utter incompetence of the store staff at PC World. I do still occasionally shop there though when I need something straight away. A source of constant amusement is when they offer "discounted" seconds and returns and price them higher than the brand new items on the shelves next to them. Due to their incompetence I have on several occasions got a bargain thanks to them labelling and/or ringing it up as the wrong thing - yes, I'm a bad person for not pointing it out, but going in to their store is such a frustrating experience that I feel it's only fair compensation for my inconvenience.
Sometimes they are cheaper
I'm just about to pop into town in my lunchbreak, to by an aerial extension kit. I looked online, and in Argos it's £24.99. In Currys, it's £9.99.
So, I'll have to bite the bullet and go there..... shudder.
When you take back a 'computer' for the inevitable repair, the first thing you are asked is 'have to done a system restore' - well, no actually, since its the power cable thats at fault - you must do a system restore or we cant take it.
Dullards, get thee hence to Tesco for your shelf-stacking training.
I am not surprised
PC World, Currys and Dixons have coasted far too long on general consumer ignorance. Five years ago they could get away with fleecing customers for 3 year warranties, expensive peripherals, or overpriced & underperforming home computers.
Not any more. The internet is all pervasive and competitors like Dell make PC World prices look ridiculous. Even other bricks and mortar stores can be cheaper - I saw the exact same hub that I bought in Poundland for a quid selling in PC World for £15.
DSG had better snap out of its traditional mindset or its going to go to the wall.
PC World Top Tip
Use their 110% Price Promise very very aggressively.
Matches against any local store, AND the following websites: Amazon.co.uk*, Argos, Asda, B&Q, Comet, Dabs*, Dell, Evesham Technology*, Game, Gamestation, Halfords, HMV, Jessops, John Lewis, Maplin, Misco*, Play, Staples, Tesco, Toys r Us, Virgin, Woolworths. (* Excludes Televisions)
So, you find the memory card you need (say a Fuji 2Gb Type M), you get the Play price of £12.99, wander down to your local PC World, take one off the shelf marked at £49.99 and when you get to the checkout you get to watch the manager get upset at having to sell it to you for £9.29. Works with most memory cards, as PC World are stupidly overpriced on them.
Always puts a spring in my step.
Terrible Customer Service
I agree with others that PC World has certainly got to be one of the worst customer service experiences out there. I'm not sure if it's just a London based thing as I have never been to a PCW out of London, but the staff are a complete waste of time. I'm amazed that they've actually managed to drag themselves out of bed to come into work (if that is what they are doing). Even asking a question of where an item may be or similar is 99% time greeted with nothing more than a grunt and the feeling that you disturbing them from doing something more important like chatting to their colleagues. Hey what about a little enthusiasm.
Do PCW management from their head-office ever go to any of their stores so see what the experience is like for punters walking in off the street? I'm guessing not - though maybe the management have the same rubbish ideas of what a PCW customer experience is about. It may come down to the amount they are paying their staff, ie: "Pay peanuts, ....".
I never like to see a company do badly but PCW deserve everything they have coming to them if they continue as they are.
Too Sales Driven
I used to work there, and the problem is all staff are told to do is make more margin. If your customer doesn't want to buy Norton Antivirus or a laptop bag then you feel defeated, and won't want to offer the best service. Scrap the instore targets. Let head office worry about that, after all, they set the prices, and good products should sell themselves without a sales pitch. How about offering an extended warranty free for a few years like John Lewis do on TVs? PC World also need to stop diversifying. The staff are expected to be experts in Computers, TVs, Photo Frames, digital cameras. Yes TVs makes a lot of money, but that’s what currys is for.
"Learn From Apple"
Your kidding right? you want the staff to know everything about everything they sell? well bare in mind that apple don't sell any where near as many products as dsg stores? you want them to know the response rate on a monitor? have you seen the generic crap they sell, i doubt they even list the response time in the manufacturers specification!
I don't condone everything that dsg do, infact im usually the first to slate them, sadly i work for them and often find myself sending people to maplins for parts we are rediculously priced on or that we simply don't stock because our guy in charge of purchasing for dsg stores has all the intelligence of a trout.
Why on earth would anyone use these stores with their vastly inflated prices?
Just check their websites... I'll wager that for every item you can find another retailer selling the same goods for 30->50% less!
£700 LCD TV's retail at £1100 in their stores.... a no brainer.
Add to that the poor staff training, and the incessant "extended warranty" guff when they know they're responsible well beyond the manufacturers warranty under EU law!
I'm amazed they're still in business at all!
I khew they were in trouble when..
I saw chocolate fountains for sale in their window, and people standing outside laughing.
Loads of people in my office use PC World, but that's only because it's just across the road, and if you need a CD Cake quickly....
I don't know anybody who has actually bought anything more expensive than an external hard drive.
John Lewis if you want a PC.
RE: Top Tip
t only works on item that are exactly the same - so no going down with a print off showing a £3 ebuyer own make memory card.
Also, JW - if you're such an expert why are you even asking these basic questions? I used to work in PC World and I can tell you the staff I knew had good knowledge. I had sad customers like yourself try and "test" me - and every single time I either supprised them, or made them look stupid. The best one was someone asking me if some USB adapter would work on his "Linux Box" - I said well what kernal version are you using and he looked stunned.
Would you ask a car sales man how a gearbox works? No but he would be able real of statistics on fuel comsumption.
DSG's approach, pricing structure and attitude to service haven't changed since the days I had a weekend job at one of their stores.
I went with a friend to check out some laptops. Hers had died and she needed one urgently to finish some time critical work. There just happened to be a model there that ticked all the boxes and was at a very good price. I was stunned and insisted the price was checked. It was right so my friend decided to buy it.
The sales drone then tried to aggressively sell the Norton PC security solution and some additional memory. When I refused on my friend's behalf she took umbrage and pressed me for my reasons.
"13 years of working in IT, implementing solutions that work. No PC or laptop that I build has Norton on it. The extra memory you're selling is overpriced and unnecessary. If I put Norton on it then I may well need the memory. But I'm not so I don't."
DSG - where nothing changes. They still prey on the uninformed.
The icon isn't quite a dead duck, which would have been more appropriate.
Isn't anyone going to stick up for them?
No, thought not. Looks like its down the toilet for them, then.
It's quite simple really...
If they didn't horribly overprice their products and changed their focus to a 'sell loads of a smaller range of items' ethos (with more available on short-leadtime order) then I think they'd do far better. Argos seems to survive quite well like that, although equally I wouldn't want them to become Argos.
What took the biscuit for me last year was when I walked into Currys.Digital in the Bullring (Birmingham), formerly one of their 'Xtra' stores - there was a wireframe bin on the shopfloor on an aisle end filled with Belkin Cat5e cables, with a handwritten cardboard sign attached to the little stand.
On it, it had words to the effect of 'network cables - moving into Halls this year? Every student needs one of these.' The cables were unremarkable 4m grey Belkin Cat5e cables... And their price? £20.
Yes, £20 *per cable*. (my uni gives all its Halls students a free cable anyway if they're moving into Halls, but I always have loads lying around...) Now I know that wasn't probably a UK-wide promo, but for crying out loud - stop treating customers like mugs with overpricing, foisting of the highest-profit options (warranties etc) onto big ticket items, and that's how you go about Currying favour.
Mine's the one with the Cat6 cables coming out the pockets
Somebody hasn't acquired a ****ing clue yet, have they?
"It is clear that customers have become increasingly promotion- and deal-driven,"
No, they're becoming increasingly driven away by the fact that the service is appalling and the staff woefully ignorant. Sometimes the prices can be very acceptable; recently picked up an Asus laptop in the local PCW, and the price was fine - might have been available for a few quid cheaper online but the friend wanted to go and get one there and then. Getting served on the other hand was a fscking nightmare, and the level of ignorance on the part of the staff was appalling. Another customer was asking about an Asus machine; non-technical type of fellow, and he was told - with a straight face "Oh, they're a new company, they've only just come on the market"! ASUS, FFS!
In the past six months I have tried and failed to give PC World some money:
1. Tried to get the RAM in a MacMini I had bought from them upgraded only to be told they don't support them yet on the website they claim they will work on an PC.
2. Tried to buy a white iMac after the news ones had been released (I don't like shiny screens), they had a good discount which tempted me. They dicked me about for a week before I gave up and ordered a refurb from Apple.
3. Tried a buy an external drive, used the Collect@Store. When I got to the store I got some feeble crap about they couldn't located them ATM but yes they had six in stock, but would you like this Maxtor instead. I told them to fuck off.
I've now given up on them completely, should have done years ago but sometimes it's more convenient to just go to a store than order online.
Prices are now realistic....
....rather than the utterly ridiculous mark-ups (which still exist on memory products). Dug their own grave..
As I said before. I got a half-price wireless network dongle when I last bought a PC there (special offer you understand). The salesman basically said that all I had to do was take out the "PC Assurance" thing, which I could cancel after a month, and he'd throw it in for free. So I got it for the price of one month's "PC Assurance" which he admitted was a load of crap (although not in so many words). But he was one of the older ones, not a pimply youth.
The support guys may be hampered with the system restore thing - I used to work for Tech Support for Siemens and they would not sanction a hardware call until you'd eliminated any possibility of a software fault. Unless it was painfully obvious (like a monitor with no power light coming on) you had to insist on a software restore, which was as painful for the tech as for the customer, because after reinstalling the OS they'd have to have all the drivers reinstalled - of a drivers CD which had had the floppy based drivers copied onto it without changing the paths, so it still looked for all the driver files on floppy, and had to be redirected for every damned file copy operation. I still get cold sweats about those!
The ones who have potential are serving their time as we all have to before getting a proper IT job. The ones who are crap are serving their time before going into management.
Pay peanuts, get monkeys
It's not surprising. Minimum wage, horrid shifts, working all weekend, many stores having to employ people from eastern europe who can't speak english properly due to the wages, overpriced on almost all peripherals/accessories, bad reputation for customer service - the list is endless (and I'm a former employee!)
PC World could sort out the majority of its problems by making it a realistic career - i.e. decent pay and better hours for a start, to attract and retain better staff. Most of my ex colleagues couldn't give a shit any more because of the way they are treated, and that will rub off on their customer service.
Undervalued staff will bring down ANY business, no matter how many years it has been around. Arrogant management will do the same.
May as well join in with the chorus
I have a PCW less than a mile from where I live, but despite being in there many times, I've rarely spent more than £5 because whatever I'm looking for is usually half the price down the road at Maplins.
Occasionally their staff will meander over in my direction, presumably because they're bored and want someone to talk to. Their advice and the opportunity to bait them with questions or listen to their sales patter does have some entertainment value, which is perhaps the only reason that I keep going back.
Ok, I'm back from my lunchtime sojourn
Found the thing I was after and thought I would buy a freeview box for about £15 as well. Because they have to grass you up to the TV Licensing morons, they have to take my name and address. After 10 wasted minutes of them trying to type in my name and address I told them to forget it and didn't buy the damn thing.
Of course apple retail are a fine example - everything they sell is pretty much branded Apple, and they sell 3 different types of laptops, 3 desktops, 4 media players and a phone - not exactly hard compared with PCW/Currys where they have at least 30 different laptops on display at once, never mind everything else they say.
Currys have bugged me forever
I remember back 8 or 10 years, before they ever merged, I went into Currys for the last time in my life. I don't know whether they still use the same business model, but they used to have this thing in store where if you wanted to buy something you had to speak to at least 3 different people. One person to write on the slip what needed to come from stores, one person at the till to charge you for it, and another to give you the stuff out of stores. And ALL of them would ask about extended warranties - which as daylight robbery I will never buy. I went in to buy something (I forget what, but it was about £300 I think). I told the first person what I wanted, I then mentioned my usual line which was, "If ANYONE attempts to sell me extended warranties, I'm walking out." They did, and I did. Never to return.
@AC - Apple Stores
"The Mgt of DSG need to spend a day at an Apple store if they want to learn how to "do" retail properly."
You're having a laugh. By "doing retail properly" I assume, therefore, you mean having a minimalistic fashionista store setup, with hardly anything on display, nothing to get your hands on, and a bunch of store groupies who can't tell you anything about a product other than that it's cool, hip and in?
Went into the Leeds store once (got some marvellous you-don't-belong-here looks from the staff) to get a battery for the boss' kid's iPod. Asked for a battery, got one. Fine and dandy. For a laugh, I asked him what the capacity of it was, and whether I'd be losing over the original. Pandemonium! What did I mean when I said "capacity," was I sure I'd got the right iPod, does anyone know the capacity of an iPod mini battery, does the boss know, etc. Behind my eyeballs I was rolling about with laughter - I already knew the capacity. I'd read it off the front of the battery when he'd handed it to me. :-)
And now, to wander off the point...
Replacing the battery was a whole other story, naturally. Got back to the office, used the rather crude tool (a bent screwdriver, from what I could see) to jimmy the end off the player. Took the internals out, swapped the battery, went to put it back together and *clatter*.......what the hell was that? There's a microchip on my desk. Where the hell did th....did that just fall off? Did a microchip seriously just *fall* off the PCB??
The boss had to get his friend at an electronics factory to fix it. Apple said, despite the player being in warranty, and it being their battery that had failed, their crap PCB, their replacement, their tools and their instructions, it had nothing to do with them.
Rant over, back to work.
Re: my previous post. I'm not saying that DSG are better. They're far far worse. But they've very little to learn from Apple.
Personally I want my computer store to be the way CeX used to be before they went all gaming-oriented. Now those were some hardcore computer stores, with staff that actually knew what I was talking about.
Last time I went in one
I figured they couldn't possibly overcharge for a CD pen.
Seeing the prices (£7.99 as I recall) I decided to take the extra ten minutes and walk to the pound shop.
How can I put this pollitely? You're talking BS. Apple DON'T have a store in Leeds, neither do they sell iPod batteries. You can send them back for replacement (especialy if the item in question is still under warrenty), but Apple don't sell them direct to customers.
Have you actualy visited an Apple store at all, not some dodgy dealer who happens to sell Apple kit? They have row upon row of machines that you can try out to your hearts content, without being anoyed by the sales staff.
What Apple do right, and what DSG could learn from, is that they don't pretend to be the cheapest while ripping you off something rotten for any "extras". If a checkout is busy Apple have staff with roving EPOS machines that can sell you kit anywhere in the store. They run free public demos of software and how to use it. They have staff who seem to enjoy working there.
This isn't to say that Apple couldn't improve things, or that everyone in store knows everything about everything, but they are head and shoulders above PC World.
Would you like a VAT receipt?
Maybe people are getting tired of having to spend 10 minutes at the till handing over your Name, Address details repeatedly if you ask for a VAT receipt.
How dare you challenge someone to a "battle of wits" when you know damn well that they are unarmed ?? Shame on you, sir, for teasing dumb animals !! You could be reported to the RSPCA !!
@Nick Palmer - Of course they are !! After all, the pyramids have only been around for about 6000 years !!
BTW I buy from Maplin since I don't need any "service" or "advice" and I build my kits rather than buy them whole !!
The issue with PC World/Currys is that they expect vendors to pay for their floor space with marketing funds then push all the customers towards own brand products. Now that vendors are waking up to that little scam the marketing fund flow is turning into a dribble and profits reflect that.
In store delivery
Needed a FW DVD burner last year PCW business had the one I wanted for 5 quid less than any other online store, assuming you didn't want home delivery, which would be an extra tenner. Dead convenient since there's a PCW down the road.
Went in to buy; item not in stock. Fair cop, but could they order one for me and have it delivered to the store for collection? Sure sir, no problem.... but there'll be a 10 quid charge for delivery .... from the warehouse to the store. But if you'd had it in stock there'd have been no delivery charge?? Correct sir.
That they make money at all amazes me.
Why bother with cards?
I used to work for DSG, I can vouch for the various comments made about arrogant management, they seem to take the attitude that you belong to DSG as a piece of property, not a thinking, sentient human being with a life outside of work, shitty shifts, compulsory overtime, and an condescending approach to staff tends to make staff feel like schoolchildren, as a 50 year old, I got so pissed off being treated like a 16 year old, it made me physically ill.
The real problem though is the penny pinching approach from management, for example, using poorly recycled parts for out of warranty laptop repairs, this means that the unit is likely to fail within 3-6 months of repair, this means that the poor engineer who's fitted the part will pay with a repeat fee, usually £7.50 per repeat.
They also show a lack of vision when it comes to expanding their repair facilities, ie, the laptop workshop now resembles a battery chicken farm , with inadequate parking and dining facilities and poorly maintained air conditioning, there's been a vacant unit next door for months, but they're too tight to lease it and expand to make the workplace more fit for purpose, and why do they always promote the incompetent to senior management ???
Me, I'm glad I'm free, maybe I can now get a real IT job....