back to article Dixons plunges to loss

Dixons Store Group International posted a £30m loss for the last six months of trading. The firm, which operates as PC World and Currys, said interim results for the 24 weeks ended 18 October showed sales fell seven per cent to £3.5bn and it made a pre-tax loss of £29.8m. Total loss after tax was £41m. UK Computing sales fell …


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  1. Matt Smart
    Thumb Up


    Not long now... *crosses fingers*

  2. Sam


    Woolworths is not just a retailer, it's a national institution!

    She Who Must Be Obeyed had a Saturday job there while she was still at school, I married a Woolies girl!

    We're all doomed.....

  3. Anonymous Coward


    I have had the misfortune of being paid an insurance claim in DSG vouchers and I would like to say that they don't even deserve to be open let alone make any money. The truely are a disgrace.

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. M


    Where will street urchins buy their overpriced, underspecced, over insured computers from if DSG go under?

  6. Anonymous Coward

    @ Matt Smart

    Look, no one loves PC World (at least, no one who knows how much a USB cable should cost) but let's not wish any ill upon them. They do serve a specific market which most of us educated techhies are pleased not to be part of, but can be handy for picking up certain bits and bobs if something is needed right now.

    Seeing them go tits up would just be another blow to our economy, innocent people trying to make the rent will lose their jobs, and that's going to hurt all of us in the long run. Why not just wish 'em well?

  7. Julian
    Dead Vulture

    Down The Swanny

    With DSG's shares worth less than 15p the are practically junk value. It doesn't look good for them. Perhaps they will be heading down the swanny with Woolies soon.

  8. Craig Roberts


    Truly the end of "Boom and Bust"...

    ... Thanks a bunch Gordon!

    Now - a question... Is there (and if there isn't - why the hell not?) a way for the general public to force a General Election? Vote of no confidence perhaps? Mass marching (which worked so well against the war in Iraq)? Guy Fawkes 2.0?! A Facebook group perhaps?! (Ok... That was a joke....)

    Hell, if enough of us shout about it, will there be an old school yard style scrap between Brown/Darling and Cameron/Osbourne in the House Of Commons?!

    I reckon Eddie Izzard had the right idea... We should "storm the House of Parliament, kick the fucking doors in, get in there and say, 'Look, we’ll pay for the damage.' Have a revolution, just budget for it, yeah? You know…"

    Who's with me?!

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Who's next?

    Anyone taking bets? Allied Carpets? BHS? Burton? M&S? Comet?

  10. Gio Ciampa rebranding

    Our local just got a shiny new lick of paint, new logos, etc. I assume all the others have done recently (or are about to).

    I wonder how much that set them back?

    (where's the "rolls eyes" icon?)

  11. Mike Richards Silver badge

    @ Craig Roberts

    'Is there (and if there isn't - why the hell not?) a way for the general public to force a General Election? '

    In short. No there isn't. The UK constitution (written on the back of a thousand now long-lost fag packets) has a model where the electorate turn all political decisions over to their betters in the House of Commons and then has no involvement in the 'democratic process' for the next few years. The only way an election can be called are:

    1: at the end of a Parliamentary term (a maximum of five years);

    2: the decision of the then Prime Minister to call an election at a time of his or her choosing;

    3: the government losing a vote of 'no confidence' in the House of Commons - although this is more the done thing than any particular piece of statute. This is how the last Labour government fell in 1979;

    4: the government losing a finance bill (the Budget) - again, not constitutionally required, but IIRC it has happened at least once in the 19th Century.

    The monarch has no ability to independently dissolve Parliament. There is a fig leaf of doing so when the Prime Minister requests it prior to an election.

    I do like the Eddie Izzard idea though.

  12. Robbin Nichol

    Dixons..bunch of swine

    and that's giving pigs a bad name. I was sold a new VCR many moons ago, it immediately chewed the first tape I put in the thing, closer inspection revealed several screws missing from the underside. They had sold me as new a broken return that they had attempted to repair and failed. Mine is not the only instance of this as they have been done numerous times for this activity. Most untrustworthy high street business I've ever had the misfortune to deal with. Happy to see them hitting hard times, hopefully terminal times.

  13. Martin
    Dead Vulture

    Whats the point of Woolworths?

    We were discussing this at my work the other day, Woolies has no place or market whatsoever in the modern world. There is no product that they sell a wider range of, or cheaper, or better than someone else. AFAICR they sell a few toys, a few CDs, a few clothes etc, but nothing particularly well. They have even lost the 'under one roof' aspect to the supermarkets, these days Woolworths is just an ASDA without food, and people generally need to eat and so go to the supermarkets anyway, where all the products that Woolworths sells are available cheaper.

    I USED to occasionally visit 'Big W' (when such a place existed) because they sold motoring sundries (washer fluid etc) cheaper than Halfords. Nowadays all the supermarkets do as well.


    /grave icon, not for The Reg (which will last for eternity) but for Woolworths

  14. Monty Burns

    @Craig Roberts- AGREED!

    Who the hell voted that twat in anyway? Oh wait, NO ONE.

    How can a prime minister be forced upon us? If the current PM wishes to step down then that should force a general election imo and in no way does anyone have the automatic right to step into the role without as much as at least a vote of confidence from the public.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    I find it had to believe...

    ...that anyone will truly miss Woolworth's as a shop (rather than as a "national institution"). They have no niche. There is not one product I can think of that I'd say: "ooh, Woolworth's will have that, I'll pop in and get one". For at least a decade they've been struggling to have any kind of identity, and ended up as a jack-of-all trades covering a range of niches all better catered-for by other outlets. Except maybe pick 'n' mix. Which is overpriced anyway. And probably a disease vector for small children.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    @Craig Roberts

    I'd like to see you *try* to lead a protest march.

    Aside from now being illegal in most of Central London without prior permission, you're more than likely to be considered an insurgent trying to undermine the Government and end up being arrested and held without charge or trial for weeks under the anti-Terror legislation.

    We have *so* much to thank the Labour Government for...

  17. Graham Jordan

    Good times

    I did a stint at PC Service Call many a year back (what's now called The Tech Guys), the morons paid me full wages for 9 months after I left.

    I'm paying it back in monthly installments of £15 (ETA, 30 years).

    Topple the fuckers and its good times all round.

    £20 for a memory upgrade?

    £35 for a health check?

    How's about do one.

  18. Simon Painter


    The opposition party would have to table a vote of no confidence. Traditionally this is avoided because no party wants to do it because it would mean they could have it done to them.

    The Queen can exercise her right to dissolve parliament and force a general election but it would take a very radical turn of events for her to risk republican backlash.

    I'm with you though.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Craig Roberts

    Why do you think that Gordon Brown is responsible for this? Surely every country is suffering at the moment?

  20. Steve Foster

    @Who's Next?

    Jessops (the photographic/digital imagery specialist) have been limping along for the last couple of years. I wouldn't take bets on them staying in business much longer.

  21. Yorkshirepudding

    ill bet

    500 quatloos on DSG Group!

    die dsg why wont you die!!!!!!!!

  22. Trevor Watt

    @ Craig Roberts

    You believed the words of a politician? Muhahahahaha! You will be believing the Tories next!

  23. Matt Smart


    My personal vendetta against PC World, Dixons et al. is that I used to work for The Link, and if you know much about what happened with Dixons offloading The Link, you'll understand my general dislike of DSGi. So personally (whilst I wish all of the poor employees of PC World etc the best for the future), I hope DSGi goes under, and fast!

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Here's a handy template for you all....

    I'm so happy! I bought ________ from PC World and it was £____ more expensive than an online retailer. I was so upset I went and quoted lots of technical tripe about databases to the girl on the till and totally pwned her.

    Signed ___________

    Seriously.... they fill a role perfectly which is to sell electronics to those people who don't mind paying a few quid more than an online retailer, who like to have things explained and to touch before they buy. Prices on a lot of equipment is very good, only the accessories let them down, and the new-style stores are much better.

    Also the ability to trot down to a store with faulty stuff and have it swapped instore is much more attractive than posting it off with an RMA number and waiting. I've never failed to get instant replacements instore.

  25. Katherine


    Well, there's always Comet... £109.99 for an extra year's warranty on a £200 PC when I worked there. Anyway, haven't DSG been struggling for months now?

  26. Luke Wells

    Any violin music for DSG?

    I do feel sorry for the employees of DSG who are going to be unfairly suffering as a result of this, however DSG is just about my least favorite company and would be missed by very few people if it disappeared overnight.

  27. Anonymous Coward

    AMS1's owner last seen boarding his luxury Yacht...

    if it looks like robert, acts like robert, it probably is Robert

    now where's the coffee gone.....

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Who needs a new...

    Do we need new PC's, as the IT work is abroad, do we need another flat screen TV?, do we need another expensive car. Can we outsource any more?

    Time to re-skill the UK and start inventing things we need, this time can we not simply give everything away to those who make it cheaper and thus offer the UK no incentive to learn.

    IT = bad as your job is in India

    Banking = Bad as there is no cash in the west

    cars = bad as these are made elsewhere

    And in the east everything = 'Argh!' as the west are not consuming. Its a vicious cycle but its not the fault of Mortgage backed Securities, its more a saturation point of 'stuff'.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I love the smell of schadenfreude in the morning

    Just goes to show that piss-poor customer service is a winning strategy every time..

    Am I the only one to think that they've had this coming for years?

  30. gautam
    Paris Hilton

    Deserve to die ! Tech savvy customers not welcome

    They still sell a USB cable for 14.99 (last week) ! Its stopped me even bothering going in and browsing around (maybe buy titbits or something urgent).

    Obvioulsy, the dont want intelligent customers walking thru their doors anymore.

    Paris, cos even she can see the Vulgar sideof PCworld

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All you people..

    moaning about the price of USB cables need to remember that they have to try and make money somehow, most of the pcs they sell make little to no money (as a rule of thumb, if its below £350 they probably make a LOSS per sale) so economics say they have to make money elsewhere!

    Also having staff on the tech desk etc ain;t cheap, all the good staff (people like me who know a bit about computers) leave because they can't afford to pay us, so your left with the "less knowlegable" lot, which is still a damn site better than your going to get when everything goes online, at least you can easily speak to a manager!

    and Kudos to Anonymous Coward 10:57 for pointing out to people that we are not the market pcworld are aiming at :P

  32. Tim

    "cutting £30m from capital expenditure"

    Which means they are going to sack staff until the total wages saved equals £30million.

  33. Anonymous Coward

    Disgruntled customer


    If the closure of all DSG outlets leaves a load of people out of work or bereft of the only way they know to buy computer stuff (including printer ink and USB cables), just put them down like junkyard dogs.

    Shame about Woolies, though a bit like Top of the Pops, I can't remember the last time I or anyone I know actually bothered with it. Maybe they culd merge with Ann Summers?

  34. Craig Roberts


    @AC (Why do you think that Gordon Brown is responsible for this? Surely every country is suffering at the moment?)

    Well, mainly 'cos when our country was in the "boom" phase, we borrowed loads of money and didn't save any... Then when the world economy went "bust", we didn't have any savings... And now we're going to have to borrow a load more... However, the bloody Aussies, who had a similar period of growth to us and who actually saved are likely to do better than us in weathering the oncoming storm (the economic one - not The Doctor).

    @Trevor - I DO believe that the Tories are correct in their comments about us all suffering tax hikes in 2011+ 'cos of this governments insistence on borrowing heavily and not cutting back on public spending while we're in a slump. I DON'T tend to believe everything one party says though... I can and do read more than just The Sun... ;-)

    What I am REALLY looking forward to is our extravagant Olympics opening ceremony in 2012 which will probably consist of Boris, a paper Union Flag and a sparkler (which probably won't light 'cos of the rain)... "Oh... um... yes... right... the... um... the Olympics... Yes... Yes.. the Olympics... Here we are... Right then... They're... Um... open! Hurrah!"

  35. Kev K

    to be fair

    PC world is dead handy when you need something in a real hurry (network card / router / usb to cat5 conector etc) & they will price match if ask (web on my e90 comes in handy sometimes)

    it could be worse - sometimes I have to go into maplins - now THERE is a bunch of toosers who need to kneel in front of a wall and be shot (in my town anywhere)

    As for dixons - the sooner they go the better

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ... i think i'm going to have to schedule a IT meeting and discuss how we are going to have to locate new suppliers if DSGi go bust...

    our accounts will have to to source other suppliers for our small computing needs... i mean... they will have a fit a the lower cost of parts..

    head accountant might have to go without his Merc next year

  37. Dave Bell

    Still selling USB 1.1

    It's not just that the USB cables are expensive, but they're still selling USB 1.1 hubs. And for three times the price of a Tesco USB 2 hub.

  38. Steven Foster

    @Matt Smart

    I hear ya mate. I worked for PC ServiceCall (Now the Tech Guys) a few years back and DSGi sold us down the river when they handed management over to Capita. Suddenly we found ourselves being fucked over with shift changes and other disasterous new policies (despite original assurances that things would remain the same) and lost any "benefits" of being a DSGi employee.

    They can crash and burn for all I care.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    They ought to be doing badly!

    Poor customer service and overpriced. No surprise they're doing badly really!

  40. Nick Pettefar


    I think Maplins is already a cross between Dixons and Woolworths! They seem to sell everything and be everything to everyone. Kids toys, petrolhead stereos, HiFi and TV accessories, modders mods, DJ stuff, etc. and, interesteringly to me, electronics components (transistors, resistors, etc.). One of the few shops in the world I believe where you can still walk into and buy a valve HT or output transformer. In fact to me this is its only redeeming and original feature - you can get everything else elsewhere. I could really understand it if they also went broke. In Swindon they are next to PC World (and Staples) and have a serious overlap of goods. They pay minimum wage so their non-student staff are what you may expect when it comes to motivation and knowledge.

    If you expect minimum wage staff to be enthusiastic and knowledgeable then you will be forever disappointed.

  41. Chris

    Maplin will be gone soon....

    ... as an ex-employee it nearly bankrupted them when minimum wage was introduced, and us Saturday staff went from £2.58 to £3.60 an hour overnight. We just subsidised it by buying large amounts of goods with their generous staff discounts and selling them on in the free-ads (pre-eBay days, natch!). But where I was happy to sell little bags full of resistors and capacitors to hobbyists, they've scrapped all that stuff and now want to sell poor quality 'technology' items such as iPod docks, tacky PC cases and pretty much everything with a blue LED in. I'm not even sure who they're competing with now, maybe eBay? All I know is I got out when they offered me a full-time job for £8k.

    As for DSGi, don't tar us all with the same brush. I'm a happy Tech Guy and am surrounded by knowledgable colleagues. Sadly I'm not customer facing so you'll never deal with me but there are decent folk in stores too, unfortunately I accept there are also some lacking, shall we say, enthusiasm and raw brain power?

  42. Astarte

    Eyes up, people!

    Why are so many so angry and eager to point the finger at specific companies and in particular highlight your personal gripes?

    These companies (and I have no bias) couldn't have been established and would not have developed into household brand names without proper prior analysis of the potential markets. I agree, in general, with most of the comments already posted but if you think you have right to vent your selective spleens on individual companies you’re missing the point.

    For years I have wandered through previously active trading areas - markets, industrial estates and other development zones funded by local governments and have, observed their demise. Often, rather sadly, they are now just ugly, windswept concrete wildernesses.

    There's little merit in criticising a specific company simply because it fails, rather you should be questioning the intent when the business started and why its business plan was deemed to be acceptable. Furthermore you should be questioning why the system actively encourages extreme competition in order to meet unrealistic criteria defined as local rates, rents and taxes. Do not loose sight of the fact that many of the so-called ‘rule-makers’ will have now moved to other (more comfortable) jobs and carry no burden of responsibility for their (possibly unknowingly) short-sighted actions at the time.

    I now face the prospect of wnadering through my local town centre to find nothing I need. In consequence I have to travel quite a way to get the things I want. My only option is to order online without the benefit of being able to browse and ask questions. I’m not an avid devotee of Dixons or any of the others but I have enjoyed my position of power in that I could choose where to shop.

    One day reality will make itself apparent. Every where I go I see shopping centres decaying, good retailers locations subverted into luxury coffee bars (which have a half-life of a year or two) and a slight reduction in (my) lifestyle. Perhaps I’m just an old fart but developments, growth and, unfortunately, failures are in the hands of the accountants who generally don’t give a damn and will move on to another job soon anyway.

    I’m sure, that if someone bent their will and applied a few forensic methods, there would be trails of ‘Do Gooders and Clever People’ that have made a fat profit for and from their clients – who the hell cares if the company fails – ‘I’ll get a new job soon’.

    Recession is here. Just look around at the rest of Europe and other parts the world. Let’s introduce some rationality into the system. For those of you that don’t know, or don’t care, be aware that it’s not a happy situation.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Are the going pop?

    A good source of my'n tells me that their credit account has been pulled at ingrammicro and Computer2000!!!....

  44. Dean Burrows
    Thumb Down


    OK, so I will be the first in line to slate PC World, I know, I worked there for a few months...

    I have to take a moment though and defend my ex-fellow lilac-shirted-geeks...

    Not all of us are sales monkeys, we genuinely try to do a good job selling the best of the crap products... it wasnt easy, but I always tried to do the best by any customer that came to me... and yes, unlike 90% of the sales force of PCW, I ACTUALLY know about computers...

    I agree, though, with the enlightened comments that DSG going down would be a huge blow...

    spare a thought, in your glee, for the thousands of people who work there who would be left in these lean months with nae a job...

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