Does anybody still buy their electrical goods from Dixons stores? Not anymore you don’t.
The nationwide retailer of midrange, overpriced equipment has announced it is pulling out the high street and taking its business online. All existing stores (curiously excluding tax-free airport branches) will be rebranded ‘Currys.digital’, a highly silly name for the shops which from then on will stock a more general range of home appliances. Rather like Curry’s then…
190 shops will get the makeover in the coming weeks at a cost of £7m but the chain claims the move will save them nearly £3m annually. I can’t say I’m sad to see them go since I haven’t entered one since 1998 when I bought a pair of Sony headphones for my CD player. I remember the kid who served me had the technical knowledge of a fruit bat and the social skills of an abandoned mountain gorilla.
Since then two things happened: ourselves and sites like ourselves emerged to help inform you what to buy and online retailers slaughtered Dixon’s high street prices. You could say the announcement was inevitable and it faces no easier ride online with stores like Amazon carrying far more Internet kudos.
For the record Dixons has been around since 1937 and was named when its founder, Charles Kalms, picked the title from a phone book. He claimed the reason was he needed something that fitted above the door, clearly not spotting that ‘Kalms’ would have fitted that very task.
Dixons has been incredibly successful for many years now and this announcement ushers it into a brave new era. It is perhaps one the chain has seen coming – and the Internet is no less dog eat dog than the High Street – but it has the branding and financial muscle to reinvent the business from here.