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back to article Dixons steps over Comet's bloodied body to nab bonus Xmas sales

Blighty's High Street is in meltdown, but Dixons Retail bucked the gloomy trend and reported relatively decent sales growth over Christmas. The chain reckons it successfully hoovered up trade from fallen rivals. According to figures filed for the 12 weeks to 5 January, sales by the parent of Currys and PC World were up four per …

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Anonymous Coward

Suspect it will be short lived - they will see a bump from Comet going (as HMV did when Woolworths went).

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Anonymous Coward

Dixon's dead

and twitching. It's just that their head is in the cloud(s)

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Bronze badge

DSGi always do well

As per title, they have always done rather well, even in difficult times.

Their margins are pretty good, and they have a fairly chunky profit generating area in The Tech Guys who charge people way over the odds for simple repair/maintenance work, though many punters continue to be willing to pay those prices.

As for HMV. Everyone is assuming they're dead because they're in administration. Administration isn't always a death sentence, sometimes it's the kiss of life because it bypasses useless managers who were the cause of the problems.

I wouldn't be surprised to see them find a buyer and turn their fortunes around, there's plenty of fairly obvious ways HMV's business could be improved

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Anonymous Coward

Re: DSGi always do well

Christmas like for like sales, YOY

2009 -10%

2010 -4%

2011 -5%

2012 +4%

some of this increase will be because other players have fallen by the wayside (larger share of a market that is shrinking overall) but more is down to the hard work of the staff and management (fear is a great motivator in the short term)

As for margins, these are pitiful, they were at around 2% and the top team were tasked with raising it to the dizzying heights of 3 to 4%

They may have a future but they have got their work cut out for them. (it largely depends on whether they can keep financing)

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Re: DSGi always do well

Interesting though I'd be far more interested in seeing YOY comparisons for whole years though rather than just Christmas. Judging a business's performance solely on the Christmas period can be misleading.

As for your comment on margins, it really depends on the lines, I beleive that the margins on some of the larger goods such as TVs and washing machines are quite low. But other items are quite large, or should be.

SD memory cards just for example. 16GB Sandisk class 4 SD card is almost twice the price in PC World/Currys as it is at Play.com from various market place suppliers. Even if Dixons bought them in at retail price from these other suppliers, they could still sell them at nearly 100% profit.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: DSGi always do well

You are far more optimistic that I am - can't see many people wanting to invest in a business specialising in physical media when they have intense pressure on the physical side from supermarkets and online retailers and the whole market is in (an accelerating) decline as people transition to digitally delivered media?

Selling consumer electronics like headphones seems to just be delaying the inevitable and again do you fancy (longer term) competing with low cost alternatives like supermarkets and Amazon?

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Online prices in-store is the only way forward for these shops. Too many people just use the stores to view the product and then buy elsewhere. The only way they can fix that is price.

There's still a lot of people who like to go and buy in person rather than getting it online, but it makes no sense to do so if it's 20% cheaper on the internet.

Land owners need to realise this too and rental prices will need to be lowered or any large business competing with online prices will all die out.

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Anonymous Coward

But when you have to pay high rents, business rates and staff costs as well as dealing with shoplifting etc. - high streets are always going to be expensive compared to cheap, huge warehouses and massive buying power like Amazon.

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"compared to cheap, huge warehouses and massive buying power like Amazon."

Isn't that how comet started out?

The downside is, of course, they needed a warehouse in every town.

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FAIL

The future

While DSG are surviving they have cut back and their stores now feel like something out of the 1980's. In a heaving shopping centre before Christmas, Currys was totally empty. On a previous trip for an emergency purchase of a phone I almost walked out before I was served. Was ignored by two sales staff who walked past me because people had just started browsing the laptops.

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Re: The future

Just out of curiosity, when you say they ignored you, you mean they didn't come and talk to you of their own accord, or that when you actually walked over to them and tried to speak to them they ignored you?

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Re: The future

I'm thinking the latter, unless Mr Hill was wearing slippers and sporting a mullet.

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Anonymous Coward

You dont get boots at Boots, you dont get curry at Currys but at Dixons........

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Holmes

Retail Shops or Shop-Window 'Shops'

I always try to make my white and brown goods purchases through my nearest Euronics shop in the next Ward, after doing my research.

I would prefer to do some reading, then go somewhere to actually examine the hardware, have someone show me the software and maybe suggest alternatives, before heading straight for the 'you can take out a three year warranty for n x the cost of the item'. eg The Sony Shop, the Apple Store - but get the manufacturers to rent them and train the staff, but not expect anyone to actually buy the thing there.

Agree with some of the posters who have experienced being ignored by the 'sales' staff..!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Retail Shops or Shop-Window 'Shops'

When I have bought something from an Apple Store at least I have found they know their stuff... which of course is easier as it's not as if they need to learn about Sony, Panasonic, Samsung et al.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Retail Shops or Shop-Window 'Shops'

I was in Tesco the other day (electrical department) and Samsung were paying for some guy to push their stuff (i.e. a Samsung employee not a Tesco one) - the problem think he was getting a bit disillusioned by the number of people asking where the iPads were oh and when not speaking to customers he was texting on an iPhone. How I did chuckle.

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You should look at what Maplin Electronics retail shop chain is doing in these hard times?

Staff that know their subject and can give unbiased opinions because they're not on commission.

Lots of ways to buy and collect our purchases. A generous 30 day return policy on products bought by mistake.

They're making a profit and opening more shops too...

Sure, they're a tad more expensive than the Internet shops. But they do allow you to get a product immediately from a local shop or delivered within 90 minutes.

I particularly like the way they'll open a sealed product, let you see and play with it. Try asking Argos staff if you can do that!

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Happy

Maplins

Spot on about Maplins. They are now one of the places for cables as PC World seem to think that such things are beneath them (rather like their current dislike of serving customers). I only wish they would go back to stocking a few more components and rearranging their catalogue so that you can actually find them!

The other places for cables - Tescos Extra or Amazon.

Phil.

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Bronze badge

4% up, with a dead competitor?!

To me, only getting a 4% boost when their biggest competitor imploded sounds pretty disappointing at best!

I've never been impressed with Dixons/Currys/PCWorld, but I suppose they must be doing something well to stay afloat this long, and they can occasionally be handy for very urgent trivial needs like a new cable or toner cartridge. Amazon's next-day delivery beats that these days unless you really need something RTFN though...

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Anonymous Coward

Karma is a bitch...

From what I've been reading, it seems that the demise of large high street retailers will benefit the small specialist music stores - that is, the ones that managed to survive the squeeze from the large retailers such as HMV etc.

Maybe their sales were so low because they only stocked utter rubbish which only 13yo listen to...

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