|Former type||Private company|
|Fate||Merged with Carphone Warehouse|
|Defunct||6 August 2014|
|Headquarters||Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, UK|
|Key people||Lord Kalms
|Revenue||£8,213.9 million (2013)|
|Operating income||£136.0 million (2013)|
|Net income||£(54.8) million (2013)|
Dixons Retail plc, was one of the largest consumer electronics retailers in Europe. In the UK, the company operates Currys, Currys Digital, PC World, (with stores increasingly dual-branded 'Currys PC World'), Dixons Travel and its service brand Knowhow. Dixons Retail's Nordic and central European business is operated under the Elkjop umbrella, and it also operates Kotsovolos in Greece. The company was listed on the London Stock Exchange and was a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index until its merger with Carphone Warehouse on 7 August 2014 to create Dixons Carphone.
As the time of its merger in 2014, Dixons Retail had 530 outlets in the UK and Ireland, and 322 in northern Europe.
The company, formerly known as Dixons Group plc and later DSG International plc, specialised in selling mass-market technology consumer electronics products, audio-video equipment, PCs, small and large domestic appliances, photographic equipment, communication products and related financial and after sales services (e.g. extended service agreements, set-up and installation and repairs) to the techno-illiterate. It also sold other products and services, electrical products, spares, mobile services and extended warranties.
Dixons was founded as a photographic studio by Charles Kalms and Michael Mindel in the High Street in Southend under the name of Dixons Studios Limited, a company registered in October 1937 with share capital of £100. The name Dixons, selected randomly from the telephone directory, was sufficiently short to fit above the small shop front. During the early 1940s Dixons set up seven studios around London but by the end of the second world war the business was reduced to a single studio in Edgware. Stanley Kalms, the son of the founder, joined the business in 1948 and started advertising the company's products in the press.
In 1950 the company started selling cameras and in 1957 opened a new head office and buying centre in Edgware to accommodate the staff dealing with 60,000 mail order customers and to provide administrative back-up for its six stores.
Dixons was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1962 changing its name at that time to Dixons Photographic Limited. It bought out competitors, Ascotts, in 1962 and Bennetts, in 1964. In 1967 Dixons bought an 85,000 sq ft (7,900 m2) colour processing laboratory in Stevenage.
In 1993 Dixons bought Vision Technology Group (VTG), operating under the PC World brand at Croydon, Lakeside Shopping Centre, Brentford and Staples Corner. Later that year the company sold VTG's mail order division, Dixons US Holdings Inc and Supasnaps.
It opened its first Tax Free store at Heathrow Terminal 3 in 1994 and later that year launched phone store The Link, the company's first venture into communications. The company's head office was relocated to Hemel Hempstead.
In 2005 Dixons Group plc changed its name to DSG International plc.
Further potential expansion came in 2005 when DSGi bought an interest in Eldorado Group, the largest electrical retailer in Russia and Ukraine, with an option to buy the rest by 2011 at a fixed price of US$1.9 billion (£1 billion GBP). (This option was not pursued, DSGi withdrawing their interest in 2007.)
In 2006 DSGi was awarded the Queen's Award for Enterprise. The company announced that the Dixons brand would continue purely online and that all high-street stores would be rebranded Currys.digital. DSGi also bought 75% of Fotovista, a French photographic business.
In May 2008, DSGi announced that it would close 77 of its 177 UK Currys.digital shops as their building leases expired over the following five years.
In June 2010 DSGi changed its name to Dixons Retail plc.
Merger with Carphone Warehouse
As of 2014, Dixons has 530 outlets in the UK and Ireland, and 322 in northern Europe. The company is structured according to the international locations of its businesses and brands, as detailed below:
UK and Ireland
Brands comprise (40% of sales, largest market share in UK and Ireland):
- Currys / PC World / Knowhow - specialises in home electronics and household appliances
- Knowhow - a provider after-sales product support and cover
- Dixons travel - a retailer operating in the UK's airports
- DSGi Business - a specialist provider of IT solutions to business and the public sector
- Elgiganten - ("Electical Giant") sells home electronics and household appliances in Denmark and Sweden
- Elkjøp - ("Electrical Buy") sells home electronics and household appliances in Norway
- Gigantti - ("Giant") sells home electronics and household appliances in Finland
- Lefdal - sells home electronics from larger stores in Norway
- Electro World - electrical superstores in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The Polish Electro World chain is no longer owned by Dixons.
Brands comprise (13% of sales, largest market share in Greece):
- Κωτσόβολος ("Kotsovolos") - sells home electronics in Greece
- Essentials - Includes Currys Essentials and PC World Essentials
- Logik - Intended for everyday use with an "emphasis on reliability and efficiency" and "a better value alternative to the major name brands without compromising on performance."
- Advent - Established brand used for computers, peripherals and other accessories
- Sandstrøm - Intended to compete with higher-end consumer electronics brands, Sandstrøm is claimed to be "Inspired by Scandinavian design [and] designed to combine aesthetics with performance"
- Goji - Producer of equipment including computers, smartphones and audio products as well as bags and storage. Distributed by Dixons Group. The audio division was co-founded by grime artist Tinchy Stryder, and uses the Goji Tinchy Stryder brand.
- Prinz / Prinztronic - The Prinz brand was first used on Japanese-manufactured goods during Dixons' 1950s expansion. Later, the Prinztronic brand appeared on electronic items such as pocket calculators and early Pong-clone TV game consoles. The Prinz name also appeared on a range of cameras marketed through Dixons stores, such as the Prinz Flashmatic V110.
- Miranda - Originally the name of a Japanese camera manufacturer which ceased operations in the late 1970s, Dixons acquired the brand in the early 1980s and used it on a range of photographic equipment, including badge-engineered versions of Cosina cameras. As of May 2011[update], Dixons still owned rights to the name, but no longer used it and planned to sell it off.
- Saisho - Introduced in 1982. As of May 2011[update] the Saisho brand had been dormant for a number of years, and Dixons announced its intention to sell it off.
- Matsui - Introduced in the 1980s by Currys as a brand for its consumer electronics goods assembled in the United Kingdom from components imported from such countries as Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Yugoslavia and Britain. Products in the Matsui line contained neither Japanese parts nor labour, but were branded with a Japanese-sounding name, a rising sun symbol and a motto, Japanese Technology Made Perfect. This gimmick led many consumers to mistakenly believe that they were buying Japanese products. In December 1988 a British government consumer protection agency charged Currys with misleading advertising. Because of its association with Iwane Matsui, a Japanese general responsible for the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people in the Nanking Massacre in 1937, the Matsui name brought protests from some British veterans of World War II. Currys was ordered by the Oxford court to drop the Japanese Technology Made Perfect motto, fined USD 7,400, but was allowed to keep the Matsui name.
Former businesses include:
- Mastercare Commercial Services, a business operating from a call centre offering IT services to IT businesses, which has since been rebranded as Knowhow.
- Freeserve, an internet service provider, which was purchased by France Télécom and rebranded as Wanadoo in 2000, (who were eventually re-branded/merged into Orange).
- Freetalk, a (VOIP) business, whose customers were transferred to Vonage, a US-based VOIP company, in August 2006.
- Pixmania, a French-based online retailer, was acquired by Dixons Retail in 2006 and sold in 2013.
The following table shows the company's financial results:
|Fiscal Year End Date||30/04/13||28/04/12||01/05/11||01/05/10||02/05/09||03/05/08||28/04/07||29/04/06||30/04/05||01/05/04||03/05/03||27/04/02||28/04/01||29/04/00||01/05/99||02/05/98|
|Turnover £ 000,000||8,213.9||8,186.7||8,154.4||8,531.6||8,227.0||8,545.9||7,929.7||7,072.0||6,982||6,491||5,750.5||4,888.2||4,688.2||3,889.9||3,156.3||2,791.9|
|Profit before tax £000,000||(115.3)||70.8||(224.1)||112.7||(140.4)||(192.8)||295.1||302.9||336.8||366.2||278.6||282.3||647.1 *||472.1 *||231.3||213.3|
|Profit for the period £000,000||(168.1)||(194.4)||(245.3)||57.3||(219.3)||(259.7)||2.4||211.7||243.1||289.4||207.8||211.2||602.6||413.7||186.2||166.4|
|Basic eps (p)||(4.4)||(4.3)||(6.6)||1.7||(10.2)||(14.5)||10.9||11.7||12.6||14.4||10.7||11.0||31.5||22.5||41.1+||36.9+|
*The above trend profits for 2000 and 2001 were primarily attributable
to profits on disposal of Freeserve shares. +Pre stock split.
In the UK, distribution is by two different routes. The Home Delivery Centres (previously known as X-Docks) supply larger items throughout the country. These centres are at Avonmouth, Cardiff, Leeds, Thetford, Spennymoor, Basingstoke, Erith, Plympton, Basingstoke and Perivale; they are supplied by one main stock centre (hub) in Newark on Trent. The second route, Customer Distribution Centres, supplies smaller items direct to customers by courier. Distribution to stores also happens via the same two routes.
- Preliminary Results 2013
- Dixons Retail: About us
- "UK's Dixons Retail plans merger with Carphone to create high street giant". Business Sun. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
- History 1930-1949
- History 1950-1959
- History 1960-1969
- History 1970-1979
- History 1990-1999
- Dixons moves into Europe with £440m Norwegian buy[dead link]
- Dixons in £230m UniEuro takeover
- History 2000-2009
- Megastore sets off Electro riot[dead link]
- Dixons looks to Russian Eldorado for growth
- Preliminary Results 2007
- DSG snaps up Euro photo etailer
- Currys stops selling analogue TVs BBC News 22 January 2008
- "Currys.digital to close 77 stores" BBC News 15 May 2008
- PC World gets almost-exclusive iPad deal Channel Register, 25 May 2010
- DSG, formerly known as Dixons, is now renamed ... Dixons The Telegraph, 25 June 2010
- "New Carphone Dixons electronics retail giant for the digital age to be created by £3.7bn merger". This is Money. 15 May 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
- Retailing The Times
- "Structure". Dixons Retail plc. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- "Mix Electronics S.A. wykupuje 100 proc. udziałów w Electro World Polska sp. z.o.o." [Mix Electronics SA acquires 100 percent. shares in Electro World Poland Sp zoo]. 3 September 2009. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
- "Dixons Retail : History: 1950 - 59". Dixons Retail website. Dixons Retail. Retrieved 4 August 2013. "[Stanley Kalms] forged vital links with Japanese manufacturers who supplied Dixons directly with products often made to the company's own specification and sold under the brand name of 'Prinz'."
- "Dixons aims high, medium and low with own-brand blizzard". The Register. 4 August 2010. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- "PC World and Currys feature exclusive new brands this Christmas". Dixons Retail website. Dixons Retail. 27 July 2010. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- "Prinztronic Calculators". Vintage Calculators. Retrieved 4 August 2013. ""Prinz" and "Prinztronic" were own-brand trade names of the British "Dixons" photographic and electronic goods stores"
- "Prinztronic". Yesterplay. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- "Miranda dx-3". MirandaCamera.com. Retrieved 4 August 2013. "[dx3] production stopped when Miranda stopped making cameras in December 1976."
- "Dixons to flog off old 'brands' Miranda and Saisho". The Register. 18 May 2011. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- ""Miranda" sold in the UK by the Dixons Photo Chain". MirandaCamera.com. Retrieved 4 August 2013. "The SLR cameras were badge engineered "Cosina" reflexes in at least three configurations"
- "Dixons Retail : History: 1980 - 89". Dixons Retail website. Dixons Retail. Retrieved 4 August 2013. "In 1982 Dixons introduced Saisho own-brand products presenting an upmarket high technology image spanning audio, TV and video products."
- Lohr, Steve (3 April 1988). "'Made in Japan' or Not? That Is the Question". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
- Fighting back after my Mastercare nightmare The Guardian, 24 May 2003
- French rival seals Freeserve deal BBC, 6 December 2000
- O2 to buy The Link chain for £30m BBC, 21 June 2006
- Vonage Buys Customer Base As Freetalk Stops Talking TelecomWeb News Digest, 31 August 2006