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back to article Dixons reports huge losses of £224m

Dixons Retail this morning reported whopping losses of £224m for fiscal 2011, after absorbing one-off charges for shutting up shop in Spain and goodwill write-downs of its Greek and online operations. Total group sales for fiscal 2011 ended 30 April including businesses to be closed or already closed fell 2.2 per cent to £8.3bn …

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Pint

In the words of the King

Way down like a tidal wave

Way down where the fires blaze

Way down, down, way, way on down

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Gold badge

Dunno about everyone else....

.....but for me this article brought irresistably to mind the sound of an 80,000 strong football crowd singing; "You're shit and you know you are.".

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"We are consistently outperforming our markets and gaining share"

This is not necessarily a good thing if the market is basically loss-making...

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heh

I gave up on Dixons, PC World et al when I went to buy a TV to be told that I was unable to take one from the store that day. If I have to wait and have it deilvered I may as well shop around and get one cheaper from elsewhere. These sort of stores are only good for 'I need it now!' kit, making us wait is silly and is cutting their own throats.

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DSG owns Pixmania?

Holy crap, if I'd known I wouldn't have bought from them.

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Pixmania

I used them twice. The first time was within a few weeks of them setting up and they were absolutely stellar - great price, fast delivery. The second time was a nightmare; you fill in all your details online, do the credit card bit and then they mail you with a scamtastic request for a passport or driving licence impression. Order cancelled, hello John Lewis.

There isn't a bargepole long enough for me to use either company.

If you're ever flying out of the UK, there is some amusement to be had (admittedly not a lot, but when you're at Heathrow you take what little fun you can get) looking at the Dixons duty-free prices and comparing them to Amazon's.

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Silver badge

My service was okay

My biggest gripe was I ordered a smart phone (HTC Desire) and it came with a continental charger which is very annoying. Oh they did include a EU-UK adapter but the thing didn't fit the charger. Fortunately the move to USB chargers meant I bought a spare in LIDL and the continental one does for travelling.

Still, the fact that Pixmania is run by a bunch of money grubbing clowns sends chills up my spine.

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Happy

Surprised?

Not at all. With their woeful customer service and stupid prices ( eg £24.99 for a USB cable) forced upon unwary customers (who buy printers-supplied without the cable at the insistence of Dixons), they should be bankrupt by now.

Where in the world do they sell printers without printer cables? Its these greedy f...ing retailers that do it, so no sympathies there.

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Thumb Up

...indeed...

Im just staggered that there are enough unwary (stupid?) customers to rack up several billion in sales. Im amazed they are still going at the prices they charge for the sales experience they dont provide.

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Not the only place to fleece people

I've noticed that Tesco do their own fleecing too with cables and stuff. For example I spotted a Bluetooth USB dongle in Tesco Ireland for €20, the exact same one which I bought in Poundland a quid.

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Joke

Yes but

twenty Euro is worth about a quid isn't it?

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Not only

They sell printers in effect without ink.

I picked up a printer in Curry's and at the checkout I was warned that the box contained only demonstration cartridges, that is lightly loaded. So I left it there.

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Monsterous

Even better, they sell Monster USB cables now. Probably with the sales pitch that your printouts will look clearer with a better quality cable.

http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/mst-digital-life-advanced-high-speed-a-b-usb-cable-90cm-03661020-pdt.html

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Holmes

Dixons was a photographic retailer

The shift to digital photography is finally coming home to roost. There's not much of an ongoing income stream from digital unless the manufacturers can come up with a "must-have" polycarbonate wonder every couple of years, and in with the current plunge in disposable incomes no-one is interested in another metering mode and a couple more megapixels. In t'olden days people kept buying film and having their photos processed, because it was a small ongoing cost.

I wouldn't be sorry to see Dixons go under because of their high prices and abysmal service, though.

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Holmes

As well as being overprices and crap

No one has much money to spend now. Gas and 'leccy for a quarter now costs as much as a 40" telly. Maybe that is a new unit of monetary value. My gas, leccy and petrol are probably up to about 8-10 tvs a year.

Being crap and overpriced is really going to hobble you in a market where your customers are also skint.

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FAIL

They lost £111 from me in March

Having been intrigued by the Kindle, one Sunday went with family to local PC World, since they were close, and prominently featured as selling Kindle (and since price is fixed by Amazon, I knew I was not being ripped off).

Saw one on display, asked "assistant" if there was one I could try (since wife has eyesight probs, so wanted to see how big fonts looked).

They "couldn't" demo it.

Walked next door to Comet, where fantastically helpful 17 year old business studies student got one out of the box, demoed it, and sang it's praises, as he had one.

Sale in 5 minutes ! With added bonus of having an intelligent chat which reaffirmed my hope in youth !!!

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Paris Hilton

They are all the same !

Had a faulty Microwave from Best Buy and it was agreed to be swapped ( agreed over the phone- nice people there) under warranty with a new one in my local store.

Duly went there and was made to wait 50 minutes while the dumb "sales expert" inisted that I/she cancel my original payment (refund would arrive in my account within 14 days!) and pay again for the new unit for this to pass through. (no other way!).

Till I really kicked up a fuss about having it delivered by courier instead (where no payment swap would be necessary) the manager/supervisor whom she was talking to relented.

Guess they wanted a sell to go thru their tills during performance review. (although it was a simple swap for a faulty one).

DIxons are worst, where I would have had to prove "inherent fault" before going any further.

Paris, I can have her with al the faults.

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This tallies ...

... with my own experience. None of these "boxed electr[on]ic gear" shops are wonderful and all try to sell you crap extended warranties. But Comet staff are slightly less clueless and are also much better at handling returns of faulty goods within the warranty period. I have found Currys in particular to be bad in this respect.

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Kindles are in demo mode in PC World

I assume Amazon supplied them with a bunch of demo units (they're printed demo unit) and staff don't have the real thing to work with. I guess part of the problem is a Kindle is tied to an account and perhaps they don't work too well when you let random scumbag screw with them instore.

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Why won't this company just die and go away

And take curries and Jessops with them. They make money only in the great times - not in the good times and certainly not in the bad.

Their business model is dead and buried.

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Anonymous Coward

Well

Curry's is part of DSGi but Jessops isn't although would not be sad to see either go (tbh Jessops really varies depending on which one ime

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Jessops

Quite agree. Their prices are eyewatering in comparison to online stores, but if you have a good one the staff can be brilliant for advice. But when they are bad, they are horrid.

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What business are they in exactly?

I've never understood what business Dixons thought they were in. I'm pretty sure that their staff training focuses mainly on selling extended warranties.

They don't have any particular expertise, which is always obvious when you talk to their sales staff), and the thing about offering an extended warranty for anything you buy is that it gives customers the impression that the kit is unreliable.

There's nothing special about their pricing, the customer experience is horrible, and you can buy most of their cables and add-ons from Amazon for a fraction of the prices they charge.

If you want to buy something with minimal fuss at the best price, you can get it from Asda or Tesco. If you want customer service, quality brands, and the best high street price, you shop in John Lewis. If you want a weird and slightly creepy buying experience, try the Apple store.

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Happy

Don't they have...

...a discount code they can use to reduce the £224M to £200M? I'm sure they can search the net to find one - like everybody else does for Dixons.

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Anonymous Coward

£30 USB cables - Bargain!

Someone on Facebook should organise a flash mobbing of Dixon's stores on the day they close, with everyone wearing party hats to the sound of party blowers under a descending net of party string whilst singling "Hooray, hooray, it's a cheeky holiday" by the Cheeky Girls. Somehow, that particular cover is quite apt here.

Sadly, there's not much left to take over from Dixons. The last three visits to Richer Sounds have been utterly terrible for me, so much so that despite shopping there since 1986, I'll no longer set foot in any of their branches. I'd rather pay the extra tenner and go to John Lewis like all my other fellow citizens.

Still, if playing dumb whilst asking very carefully prepared awkward questions to Dixons shop floor staff is your kind of sport, better get down there now while you still can...

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Facepalm

Digging their own graves

I was in Currys (DSG) last week. Sony Blu Ray player, £130 in store or £100 on Dixons site. I said I'd buy it right now if they'd give me £10 off, but they wouldn't budge. Instead I was offered £5 off a Belkin 2m HDMI cable - which was £40. I bought from Amazon instead.

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Not just Dixons

Went to buy a cycle helmet from Halfords but in the queue I quickly scanned the barcode to check online prices and saw it was 30% cheaper on the Halfords site.

Asked to buy it at that price but shop staff wouldn't budge so stepped out the queue and ordered it online through my phone to pick up at that store.

2 mins later the shop guy pops over to tell me that my order has come through and I can now "pick up" my order - which I was still holding - and pay at the reduced price.

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WTF?

Dixons.. Just DIE already!

See title

A few years ago, for a laugh I went in and asked for an SED Flat screen telly. knowing that Tosbiha were right in the middle of a legal wrangle with nanopropiertary. Clueless even with stuff they might of been selling 12months down the line....

it still makes me giggle lol lol lol

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FAIL

iPad exclusive

What a joke the iPad exclusive turned out to be.

It's about 40 miles to my nearest Apple store but there are a handful of PC World and Currys shops that are closer and, unlike Apple who are very tight-lipped about stock levels, DSGi's websites appeared to provide stock information on a store-by-store basis. So when I decided to go for an iPad last year I initially chose a Currys that was about 25 miles away.

It wasn't the closest in crow-miles but it was only five minutes drive from somewhere I had to take Mrs. Grouse anyway and, according to the website, had an unexpectedly large number of the insanely popular iPad in stock. Twenty or more if memory serves.

We arrived at the store to find it in bits. It was half way through a major renovation that, according to the security guard we spoke to, had been going on for two weeks and was due to continue for at least two more. Not a sniff of this on the website. No wonder their stock of iPads was so high. No bugger could buy them.

A couple of days later we checked the levels again and the nearest store that still had stock was about 30 miles away, this time a PC World with eight iPads. So off we drove, found the store, went in and sure enough there was a table full of demonstration iPads. Up came the sales droid.

-- "Hi. Do you have any 16GB WiFi iPads?"

-- "Sorry, mate, we haven't got any iPads left at all."

-- "Your website says you have eight."

-- "That'll be the demo units on the table over there."

-- "Ah, so can you sell me an ex-demo unit with a few quid knocked off?"

-- "Sorry. Company policy. Can't sell ex-demo stock."

-- "So why are they showing on the website as available to buy?"

-- "You're not the first to ask that. The website gets numbers from the stock database, and the database counts all stock in the store, including demo units."

-- "That you can't sell?"

-- "Yes. I know, it's a bit daft isn't it?"

-- "You must have had more than one person complain about this."

-- "A few, yeah."

-- "But you haven't done anything about it."

-- "We can't change the stock level. It has to include the demo units. Company policy."

As it happens this pointless journey had put us within 15 miles of the Apple store so we took a gamble and went there expecting them to be out of stock. In fact not only did they have countless units available but the sales guy told us they'd had dozens of customers who'd fallen foul of the exact same stock level snafu at their DSGi partners. Impressively, when he said it, he somehow made the word "partners" sound like the word "twats". Or perhaps that was just my interpretation.

Either way I still can't believe how badly DSGi dropped the ball on that one. An opportunity to be the only outlet other than Apple stores carrying what was the biggest selling consumer electronics product to date. And they were letting customers travel miles based on misleading information, play with the demo units, then leave empty handed.

Retail suicide.

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Coat

The drain seems clogged....

Currys, DSG and WorstBuy are still all circling it instead of down the thing.

Mine's the one with a plunger in it.

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FAIL

Crap companies get their comeuppance in the end!

I absolutely detest DSG and all they stand for. I'm an independent computer repairer and here at my firm Kitamura Computers I get so many customers with shock stories. We do computers, consumer/domestic goods and security systems, so get a lot of tales from the crap TechGuys (now KnowHow) scam they have going. PC World charged one guy £229 just to reseat a stick of memory in a laptop, all because they had to remove the keyboard (they probably can't even figure it out so it takes them hours!) I do little jobs like that for nothing, they cost nothing but a smile to do and my customers keep coming back!.

PC World staff are clueless (you've all heard the stories of their zombie staff going into the backroom to find out if the product you want will work, when all they need to do is check the box, they then never re-appear!), they don't know their own products, they kiss Symantec's ass by reselling their Norton crap, and they're generally very poor.

Their TechGuys (now Knowhow! snigger snigger!) we-do-it-all marketing scam is the biggest con I've ever seen. You phone them up to fix your washing machine. You know the bearings have gone, they then tell you the motor and/or control board is knackered. Add to that they charge extortionate prices to mount TV's on the wall, set Freeview and FreeSat up (they charge 320 more to do the HD + version even though it's the same setup routine!)

Us guys at Kitamura have been doing computers and electronics repairs for years, I laugh every time DSG have to re-brand one of their subsidiaries (TechGuys to KnowHow, for example!) to throw off all the negative publicity!

I'll tell you a true story. When I set my firm up I decided to test them and went in to PC World to buy a nice laptop I'd seen, on credit. They were just that day starting to use a new infrastructure for the sales system. I was kept waiting 4 hours because of bugs and issues with the system to be told they couldn't do the credit agreement on my finances, our credit record wasn't good enough as we'd only just started.

So they don't even roadtest software before rolling it out in the company, either, and waste customer's time! I have never been so annoyed, and never ever set foot in their stores ever again! And that was 4 years ago.

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Joke

oh nooo!

This is a great problem, Dixons are after all one of only a few high street retailers that sell home ent stuff, if they go down the tube because nobody is buying stuff from them where are we supposed to view our products first before buying from the significantly cheaper internet??....oh wait a sec .....

:)

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Anonymous Coward

What is surprising

Is that they sell as much stuff as they do!

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