|Type||Part of Darty plc|
|Key people||David Newlands (Chairman)|
|Products||White goods, Telecommunications, Information technology|
|Revenue||10.3% (French operations only)|
|Industry||telecommunications, television and internet service provider|
Darty, founded in 1957 by the Darty family in France, is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the UK-based Darty plc specialising in Electrical retailing. The company has different operations across Europe, the original being in France and now in three other countries, Turkey, Italy and Spain. It also formerly had stores in Switzerland.
In France and Luxembourg Darty owns 209 stores, making it the second largest retailer of the KESA Group (the first is Comet with 248 stores). These 209 stores equal 274,400 square metres of selling space. At the end of 2006, Darty had 10,848 employees.
Darty is the leader of specialized distribution of electronic products for the general public in France. Another of their slogans is to satisfy 100% of the customers. Darty France also provides a repair service guarantee, that if a product is broken in the first one or two years (depending on the product) Darty will fix it.
The start of Darty (1957–1974)
In 1957, the Darty family — the father and his three sons, Nathan, Marcel and Bernard — managed a small store of textiles. The Darty brothers started to sell stock, and, to attract customers, they left the goods on the pavement. In a few days, the stock was liquidated. In 1967 the Darty brothers transferred to a larger warehouse.
Regional expansion (1975–1992)
In 1988, the brains trust initiated an O.P.A, with the approval and the support of the founders of Darty, allowing the repurchase of the company by its employees (LMBO) and thus showing economic and social innovation. The operation was a success, since 90% of employees took part and controlled 56% of the capital. At the end of 1988 Darty opened its 100th store.
Kingfisher and KESA periods (1993 - 2003 onwards)
In 1993, Darty was bought by Kingfisher plc, which integrated Darty and Comet, in a European entity based in Paris: Kingfisher Electricals S.A. (KESA). In 1999 this led to Darty opening up a commercial Internet site. This entity increased via acquisitions and, at the beginning of 2003, included Darty and But in France, Comet in the United Kingdom, BCC in the Netherlands, Vanden Borre in Belgium and Datart in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In 2006, Darty launched DartyBox, which is an ADSL internet, television and telecommunications provider based on the network of French internet operator Completel.
Italian operations of Darty owned nine stores with 214 employees and 13,600 square metres of selling space. The stores include in Milan, in Turin, one in Piacenza and others in Giussano (MB), Cesano Boscone (MI), Paderno Dugnano (MI), Orio al Serio (BG), MM Sanbabila (MI), Alessandria, Moncalieri (TO), Bicocca (MI), Rho (MI), Cinisello Balsamo (MI), Affi (VR), Vado Ligure (SV) and other 2 in Turin. Since 2 March 2013, 20 Darty stores (14 in Lombardia, 3 in Piemonte, 1 in Veneto, 1 in Emilia-Romagna and 1 in Liguria) ended their commercial activity and they are now property of Trony DPS.
Darty's Swiss operations included three stores in Crissier, Etoy and Villeneuve which totalled 4,400 square metres of selling space. This operation had 114 employees. In 2009, Kesa Electricals plc confirmed that it has sold its operation in Switzerland to Swiss electrical retailing chain FUST, valuing the business at 20 million (£11.4 million). The sale did not result in a loss for the group. The stores have since been rebranded as Fust (page in French).
- Comet Group - former sister company trading in the UK
- Jean Sarkozy - husband of Jessica Sebaoun-Darty, heiress to the Darty fortune
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