How about instead of tarting up the stores they replace the arrogant and ignorant morons that staff their stores?
Dixons shares took a tumble this morning after the UK's favourite electrical retailer warned markets it was unlikely to hit profit targets for the year. The company said sales were down 11 per cent in the UK and Ireland and had fallen 7 per cent across the group. It expects profits for the full year of around £85m. Market …
I don't know why these warnings come as any surprise to anyone who has the misfortune to need to actually go in and buy anything from Dixons. It has to be a "distress" purchase on a Sunday afternoon...
Invariably overpriced, often old stock, their products are lamentable with staff who rarely know their arses from their elbows. Watching anyone in store asking a member of staff about anything generally becomes a "voyage of discovery" for both the customer and the staff member.
Don't know about their "Tech Guys" but can't see them being much better.
A large, long-established retailer with a simple, uneveolving, business plan incorrectly guessed that their sales would go up during a recession, and look like idiots because of it.
Yet people in padded chairs can predice "107%" increase in sales of apple products 3 years hence with no idea how apple may change their business plan in the meantime.
Predictions now are no more worthwhile than they were from Nostradamus.
Here's the thing. None of that money came from people who read The Reg. Discerning, knowledgable and clued up punters wouldn't touch Dixons Group stores with a barge-pole.
That just leaves the majority of the population as their potential customer base. We can all get sniffy about them but Comet are in a worse state and Best Buy lost £55m in the same market, which I why my money is on Dixons getting bought.
I'm one of the Sunday afternoon crowd - a contractor with a business account with DSG that needs something hardware desperately as I work odd hours and in a niche market. Going in to an unnamed PC World near North Shields usually with 13 year old IT literate daughter #1 in tow - as soon as you get past the sliding doors you inevitably get accosted by some Justin Bieber lookalike who tries to sell you a 45" Samsung flat screen - yes the one that's showing the Avatar 3D trailer or Rick Astley in an endless loop. As they're trained to be like family seeking missiles. Explaining that you have a * Epson HD projector wall * for a TV and explaining that I'm business rather than coming in for Animal Crossing, Noton, Wberoot Anti OS or cr4p lcd tv gets rid of them usually.
Having half the store devoted to these dreadful flat screen TV's and the business section running OMG! Lolcatz I can has Cheezburger the Movie or R2D2 falling in love with a Dyson vacuum cleaner doesn't help their image much, either.
The Tech Guys - if you go in with some 3 year old Compaq XP tech you'll hear the howls of derision followed by the sales pitch from here a couple of miles away... bargepoles have PC World locations plugged into their satnavs in the same way the rest of us have speed cameras...
The only redeeming feature is that the business bods here are tech-savvy enough and offer reasonable discounts to the trade enabling you to keep your margins, no bad thing.
Last year I was in the market for a new point-and-shoot camera. I narrowed it down to models from Sony, Canon and Panasonic. The Canon was in the lead until I popped into Dixons during my lunchbreak and found that someone has decided to design it to have the flash pop up right where your left index finger is usually holding the body.
So I gained valuable information on a potential purchase. Of course when I did buy a camera, I avoided Dixons like the plague!
Well /there's yer problem/.
My favourite electrical retailer would be Amazon. Or for geeky stuff perhaps eBuyer. Certainly not one of those ancient bricks and crumbling mortar jobbies. I haven't been into a shopping centre to buy anything other than a few pints and a meal for several years now.
They should give it up. Knock the lot down and replace them with public parks. Stick a few restaurants and other 'park friendly' entertainments in there instead. Maybe a cinema. I might actually decide it's worth going into town centres then.
I took the Dixons group forever to get the Advent Vega Android tablet, then a Dock (without even a PSU), in-stock, even on-line, let alone in stores, and they missed out on massive sales of both over Xmas, because they grossly underestimated demand; this beggars belief given the surprisingly good price and specification! They will now have their early lead eaten up, now that more companies are re-badging the same tablet. I am also P-d off that they have the utter check to sell a 16GB class 2 micro-SD card for £60, given I got mine very quickly for £18 including postage, granted other retailers are bad in this respect, even so WTF!
..for anything but looking at or trying out the goods first hand, then going to Amazon, or any other on-line retailer. Going online you benefit from
- latest versions
- a greater range of choice
- on-line feedback and comparisons
- lower costs
- fast delivery to where I need it
The only people who 'go shopping' are the old or infirm of mind.
Hell - even Tesco's deliver, so there's no need to haul your ass round the supermarket full of shuffling grannies and screaming kids.
You're right, of course - but this is also why no responsible retailers have survived. Everyone gravitates to the lowest prices, so retailers of consumer electronics either die off or become box shifters with costs pruned to the bone = staff on minimum wage, not enough staff, staff not trained, etc.
...a far more important point.
Order online and you get a mandatory 14-days to return any item no-questions-asked by law.
Try and take something back in a shop and they'll argue and fight you left-right-and-centre, and still try to charge you for any support agreement, warranty, insurance you may have signed for - and then hound you when you cancel the direct debit.
Always go online - better evidence of purchase, better return policy, and everything you already said.
Have to second that. There are so many alternatives now that to restrict yourself to just the items on sale within walking or driving distance of your house is foolishness.
Sometimes the choice is too bewildering but regardless I'd rather make it myself and risk getting it wrong than let "faceless marketing droid X" decide everything for me based on his notion of "what people want". Because what people want is invariably not what I want. Big sub woofer with my speakers? No thanks, I like my music to not sound like shit.
Headphones, when was the last time you walked into a store that sold good ones? Probably never, because stores assume you want the consumer grade crap with the lime green headband. Well no actually I don't. Nobody seems to care about their hearing anymore either. I sometimes imagine that in 20 years time I will be the only person left who didn't abuse his ears to the point of total destruction.
I went into a new Curry's store last weekend, very nice ... VERY nice ... but as usual, hopeless sales staff with no knowledge or penchant for understanding (not suprising based on what they're probably paid; you're never gonna get IT aware staff for peanuts!).
Biggest fail though, iPad accessories at 2 - 3 times the price of the internet. A £9.99 Amazon Targus iPad case was £25 ... rest my case!!!!
As for the other stores (at least in Nottingham) small, cramped, scruffy, terrible staff, terrible service, terrible price ... I always buy from John Lewis (worth the extra) or the interweb for the VERY best price!
Weird, all the staff in my local store are a bit on the short and scruffy side too ;-)
I did a summer at Dixons after finishing uni many years ago. It was basically an.. erm.. ego measuring contest between the staff to see who could top the sales leaderboard. They'd rip stuff out of the window displays and rebox it as new on the quiet, whilst the customer was waiting for their item to be retrieved from the "stock room".
...was not a good experience. I needed a replacement power supply for a popular brand of laptop and was hoping they might sell a universal one. All they had was some clever (green?) universal adapter for the amazing knock-down bargain price of £70. Even then they were hidden away on a shelf behind the counter and I had to ask to see them, having wasted several minutes ascertaining that they were not on display anywhere.
Suffice to say I reluctantly declined the offer of the bargain PSU and took my business to the webz where I was well served with a choice of lower cost, good quality options.
I noticed while I was in there that their pricing model for other items (memory cards in particular) was more than a bit crazy too.
1. Sell quality products and only quality products. (Seriously, no one wants a "choice" that involves picking the one decent option out from a lineup of shiny turds).
2. Don't cheat the customer. We might have been naive about electronics a decade ago, but not anymore. Nobody wants to drop £200 on a "Helium impregnated USB cable", it's time you stopped asking.
3. Hire staff who have actually used electricity before. Or if you can't do that, at least tell your yokels to stop lying all the time. And yes, sneaking items into my trolley while I am not looking is dishonest.
4. Stop selling warranties that cost more than the items they cover without offering a meaningful period of protection. If you must charge £500 for a warranty on a £300 laptop, people expect a certain level of service for their money. They do not expect you to format their hard drive regardless of what their problem is. They do not want you to delete all of their data without warning or explanation. Not for £500. It is not acceptable behavior and we will not accept it. THAT'S why you don't have any customers.
Makes you wonder why they are currently spending millions rebranding themselves from DSG to KnowHow?
Thing is, the logo is supposed to be a Power button, which is surrounded by a circle of rainbow colours.
A gay friend of mine saw the logo and instantly said, 'Gay Pride'.
I wonder how many millions was spent on that?
I went into Dixons in Southampton last weekend while the missus was clothes shopping. not to buy anything just to have a play with an iPad 2.
However I got distracted by the biggest tech lie I've ever seen in my life. They were trying to flog Norton 360 and had a sign saying Top 5 reasons why you need Norton 360. The first item on the list said:
"A computer is attacked within 12 minutes of being turned on - you need protection for your new PC"
I laughed and tried to find a sales assistant to ask how they had arrived at that conclusion. Couldn't find any so I snapped a pic of it using my phone, feel like I should submit it to Digg or Reddit. I'm tempted to get a marker pen, go back there and scribble this out and put the URL for MS Security essentials and write the word free!
It's called "privilege separation built in from the ground up, and enforced by all applications".
For non-techies: All the locks were screwed on from the *insides* of the doors when the business centre was built, and anybody who needs access to an office gets given a key that opens *only* that office. (In fact, they don't even know the doors for which they don't have keys are even there).
Dixons have been quite clear - they do not want the public in their stores.
I recently found a great deal on a Nikon D700 online just after my D200 was stolen. Their price was really good. I happened to be near one of their Megastores and stopped in.
Would they sell me the device for that price? Not a chance!
So I bought it from WarehouseExpress just to spite them, even though their online offering was lower.
DSG need to look at the likes of John Lewis.
Staff are fairly clued up. They price match offer a really good warrenty without extra payment.
If anything goes wrong they honor it.
Yes you can't buy that IDE to SATA converter then again you can't find them at PC world anyway.
The only time I ever go into a DSG store is to buy white goods or some printer ink if I run out during some work related print task.
The primary problem with DSG can be sumerised in one word "management", as in the complete lack of leadership and direction.
Go in to a PC World store, and have a look around, it has stationary, TV's, etc. They have tried to do a bit of everything, and failed to achieve anything.
My suggestion to the shareholders, is sack the board, and hire somebody with VISION, focus the stores on a particular market, and do it well.
Online will always be cheaper than retail (those building and staff expenses), but you can get walk in customers, if they know that they want a part they can get it (even if it is more expensive than online)
As a practical example, I needed a USB adapter, went to PCW, they didn't have any, the staff suggestion was the location of the nearest Maplin (useful for the customer, not so good for the sales)
Following a burglary we have to replace several electronic items. The insurers have dealt with this by valuing the items on the Currys website and issuing a DSG voucher to that value (for which the insurance company gets a big discount). Thus, much as I loathe DSG, we will have to shop there and at DSG's prices.
In Bristol there is a very large new Currys/PC World not far from a very large John Lewis.
The contrast in attitude & sales technique is vast. I decided to buy a new PC:
Horrid "greeter" pounces with, "What have you come to buy?" I found the PCs without his help where I was pounced on again. When I said that I was looking a new PC, the dolt started telling how good a particular tower was for games and that its capability would be enhanced tremendously if I bought a new screen, too. He was so odious that I walked out and over to..
I browsed the PCs for a while at peace and an elderly salesman politely asked if I needed any help. I said that I needed a new PC and he responded with the right question, "What sort of things do you use a PC for?" "Just email and secretarial stuff (I'm the Sec. of a couple of clubs)". "Perhaps you'd be interested in this one - Compaq/HP, I think that it's the best value one we sell and it's the cheapest". We went on to have a grown up conversation about W7 and agreed that I had been lucky in "missing out" Vista!
I enjoyed his company, presence and knowledge. I bought the machine he recommended. I had occasion to use the warranty since at two months in the HP diagnostic SW detected that the HD might fail. Again their service was very good.
I am nearly 70. 40 years in IT, I started when we used paper tape & cards. I like being treated like a grown up by sales people who start by asking what it is that I need. I would recommend JL for anyone wanting a new PC or TV.
Anyway, it's in the numbers JL goes on growing, particularly in this area.
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