back to article Grim news at Dixons

Dixons Store Group International (DSGi) updated the markets today on a miserable six months of trading. Like-for-like sales fell 7 per cent for the 24 weeks ended 18 October 2008 and gross margins were down 0.7 per cent. The company said: "Consumer confidence has significantly deteriorated across Europe, particularly in more …

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  1. Robert Simmons
    Alert

    Cables

    "Like-for-like sales fell 7 per cent for the 24 weeks ended 18 October 2008 and gross margins were down 0.7 per cent."

    Oh no, they'll have to put the price of their USB Cables up another £10!

    More fool the public for paying it though....

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Would you like a £360 extended warantee with that pack of AA batteries?

    If this means that Dixons sales staff and investors are left huddled around an old metal bin this Christmas, burning their own furniture just to stay warm then HO HO HO.

  3. Alexis Vallance
    Thumb Down

    Lost their way

    Currys, Currys Digital, Dixons and PC World. Odd branding, especially with everyone buying online nowadays.

    They just got left behind when the world moved on and their rash rebranding exercise achieved nothing.

  4. Simon Deane-Johns

    People still go to Dixons?!

    Why?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Staff Training

    "10,000 colleagues now through the first stage of the new in-store service programme" from the PDF

    So what were they trained in ? How to sell warranties ? Or the differences between 720p, 1080i an 1080p and the difference between upscaling a DVD versus Blu Ray.

    I fear the "value" of going to a shop such as Curry's is nil compared to buying online. I will pay for service and advice (e.g. I buy violins from a specialist dealer), but not overhead and so I won't be buying from Curry's unless their prices are the best (which, very often, they are not).

  6. DrXym Silver badge
    Alert

    I have another theory for their woes

    Once upon a time the DSG could rely on pure dumb ignorance to buoy their sales. People had to buy from bricks and mortar stores, and Dixons / Currys / PC World was there with its strategically shaven sales staff and extended warranties to coin it in at considerable markup.

    Sadly in an internet world that strategy no longer works. People still go to PC World through necessity (something just broke and it needs replacing), or ignorance (wow look at that Advent PC!) or casual browsing but a great many more shop online and its hurting their sales. Even compared to other bricks and mortar stores, DSG outlets look expensive and out of touch. Even their January sales are are derisory, with obsolete and often returned junk getting a whopping 10% discount.

    If they want to survive they're going to have to adapt, even if that means shutting down their stores, or turning them into glorified distribution / pick-up points. Dixons will be the next Rumbelows if they don't get their act together and their passing won't be sorely missed. Maybe they should have purchased the extended warranty.

  7. Dave Bell

    Not just recession?

    It's hard to be sure, but Dixons look to be selling the sort of stuff which people are only going to buy when they need to. New TV? Not until this one breaks.

    And Toys'R'Us have staff better-informed on computers.

  8. Alistair
    Coat

    Can I be the first to say ...

    I hope the investors took out an extended warranty.

    Ithangyu

  9. Elmer Phud

    DSGi training

    "10,000 shop staff have completed the first stage of their training scheme"

    "Can you tell me what is printed on the badge on your chest?"

    Shit, that's second stage.

    "Right, some of you have managed to get through the front door, well done!. Come back tomorrow, if you can get through the door again it's on to stage two".

    They'll get onto 'running away if a customer asks me anything' later.

    The advanced 'customer avoidance' course is only for those attending* at PC World.

    *almost put in 'working'

  10. Blubster

    Could explain...

    Why they're desperate to sell cameras & TVs - they've been screwed by Vi$ta and cheaper internet sales.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    I live in hope...

    .. That the PC Worlds/Dixons etc will go under in these difficult times.

    One of the worst retailers going... I wouldn't dream of shopping there. It's no surprise they're struggling, they've been ripping off their customers for years.

  12. Purple monkey computer fixer
    Pirate

    @AC Thursday 23rd October 2008 09:26

    "So what were they trained in ? How to sell warranties ? Or the differences between 720p, 1080i an 1080p and the difference between upscaling a DVD versus Blu Ray"

    The training was sales training, pure and simple although DSGi would like people to think of it as a customer interaction tool. In fact the trainers were as tech savvy as a piece of cheese, one of the examples of what most sales staff would call "upselling" was to sell a HDMI cable as it would give a better picture than a scart for watching telly (this was stated as an absolute fact).

    I work within the "Tech Guys" and I can guarantee all the staff there know the difference between a PCI, PCI-e and AGP graphics card etc, unfortunately a good number of the sales staff don't and the management are even more clueless. We've had sales staff and management selling services such as upgraded GPUs on machines that they wouldn't even physically fit in (trying to fit a double slot GPU into a SFF machine with half height expansions bays for example).

    Hopefully the "Academy" training which is supposed to be product orientation will help, frankly no one can know anything (I know jack shit about Digital photo frames for example, but then I have no interest so I've never researched then). However I suspect it'll just be an excuse for company reps (HP, Lexmark etc) to whore their wares and not an opportunity for people to learn anything particularly helpful (though I'm looking forward to being an awkward bastard).

    Personally IMHO DSGi needs to stop pressuring people to take Norton, Mobile Broadband, extended warranties and train their staff in product knowledge, product specialists would help as well. If they want to continue to push "addons" such as Norton etc (they would as they are more profitable than the product) they should be offered but not forced, as it is if sales staff don't sell these in enough percentage they get a serious bollocking.

    However as people have already said, it's questionable whether DSGi can really survive in it's current form.

    Mines the straightjacket with "Please give me a new job" on the back.

  13. go
    Coat

    What comes around goes around

    I wouldn't be sad to see them go really, apart from the fact that you can pickup cheap ram *SOMETIMES*

    As a few posters have pointed out what I really want is internet prices and then the ability to pickup for a warehouse somewhere so I don't have to wait for CityLink to put a "Sorry we missed you" slip through the door without even rining the bell..

    I think they may be stuck in "la la" land where people go to buy a PC and want to talk to the salesman for 10 hours about it, it's a lovely idea (like snow, the kind of thing that sounds like a lovely idea but is actually a royal pain in the arse should you want to do anything) but in reality most people self inform!

    One would have thought they would have seen this coming, what with the increase in reserve then pickup later schemes.

    One step at a time!....

  14. Simon B
    Stop

    Currys = Dixons

    Currys IS Dixons, they practically sell the same things, and at the same price!, so WHY have the 2? heck we have a Currys and a Dixons on each others doorstep, taking sales from each other! You are supposed to compete against OTHERS not yourselves!

  15. Philip Dagnan

    Currys = Dixons ?

    If you can find me a bricks n'mortar Dixons store (other than at the airport) I'll give you a free extended warranty.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/the_company_file/217611.stm

    Reap what you sow.

  16. Mark

    What confidence?

    "Consumer confidence has significantly deteriorated across Europe"

    Well confidence in Dixons has certainly been on a steep downward slope since the late 70's.

    I tried to buy a DVD burner from PCworld "Business" local store. Not in stock at the shop and 10 quid for delivery if I bought online. So I asked the store to order me one and I'd pick it up. Also 10 quid delivery charge I was told. So the customer is now expected to pay a separate charge for PCW to deliver their products to their own stores. Even the sales muppet was embarrassed.

    I wonder why results were down.

  17. Stu
    Pirate

    I hope DSGi burn in hell...

    ...for selling me a HD Ready TV two and a half years ago that has since gone totally kaput.

    And no I didn't buy the Extended warranty! As if it would have helped.

    Their support services - "Yes 2.5 years is a little unreasonable, we typically see 5 years." You what!? I've got a 20+ year old Sony 14" TV in full working order still!

    It went on - "Its okay, just take the TV to a local repair centre and pay for an engineers report stating it was a manufacturing defect as opposed to customer usage and wear and tear."

    Again, as if any engineer could actually prove this from a diagnosis.

    "We'll reimburse you a reasonable repair amount, and the cost of the engineers report. That is if it comes out in YOUR favour."

    Being my only option, along I went to a repair centre, they said that the TV would not be diagnosable, due to that particular type (It was one of the rare Samsung HDTV cathode ray sets) and is actually a liability being in their shop!

    UK law doesn't actually say anything about a 1 year normal warranty, and is actually contestable in certain circumstances even after many years. Your typical 1 year warranty is a manufacturers 'gift', the guy at the repair centre seemed to think we should be honoured because Samsung do this out of the kindness of their own hearts! The tosser.

    However UK law very weakly states - 'if not fit for the purpose it was intended' and 'must last a reasonable time', the trouble being is that this is totally objective, and is easily contestable by Currys, because they just say they have no way of checking whether the TV was left on 24hours, 7 days, 365 etc. Any judge or magistrate dealing with such a case usually sides with the retailer anyway, I can say this from personal experience.

    I took the set straight down the local waste disposal centre.

    I had good fun smashing the screen in, hardly worth £520 minus 2.5 years usage depreciation though.

    So you'll understand when I read news articles like this and smile a little inside, I agree too, that in the current climate, and with internet sales, the playing fields are levelling out nicely to the advantage of the end consumer, no more of these monolith organisations!

    I do wish the olde grannies and grandads (in fact everybody above 50) would stop shopping there though.

    </RANT>

  18. John Whale

    Hey Stu

    "for selling me a HD Ready TV two and a half years ago that has since gone totally kaput.

    And no I didn't buy the Extended warranty! As if it would have helped."

    Much as I dont want to be be seen supporting the evil empire - yes it would have helped. You would have got it repaired or replaced. The odds are stacked against you getting anything back from DSGI after two and half years without a service contract.

    Extended warranties are good for some people and products - most PC stuff I can fix for myself so I dont bother. I would not know where to start to repair a TV so I would get extra cover

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