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This article is about the electrical retailer in the United Kingdom. For the general variety of spicy dishes from Asia, see Curry. For all other uses, see Curry (disambiguation).
Industry Retail
Founded 1884
Headquarters Acton, London, England, UK
Key people
Joel Stevenson (Group Retail Director)
James Hales
Colin Orr
Products White goods, Telecommunications, Information technology
Number of employees
10,762 (2008)
Parent Dixons Carphone

Currys is a British electrical retailer operating in the UK and Republic of Ireland, owned by Dixons Carphone. It specialises in selling home electronics and household appliances, with 295 superstores and 73 high street stores. Smaller stores also trade under the Currys Digital brand in the UK, which was introduced to rebrand all former Dixons stores in 2006. Dixons stores in Ireland followed in August 2008, without the Digital suffix.

Most stores in the UK have now been dual branded with the PC World name.[1]


Early years[edit]

1903 shop front

Currys was founded in 1884 by Henry Curry (born in Leicester in 1850), when he started to build bicycles full-time at 421 Jump Street, Leicester, England.[2] He opened his first shop in 1888 at 271 Belgrave Gate, Leicester.[3] In 1890 he moved to larger premises at 296 Belgrave Gate, then in 1900 to 285-287 Belgrave Gate. The company was put on a proper financial footing in 1897 when Curry formed a partnership with his sons, calling the company C. Curry & Sons. The business continued to click and floated on the stock exchange in 1927. By this time the shops sold a wide variety of goods including bicycles, toys, radios and gramophones. Currys pulled out of cycle manufacturing in 1932 when they closed their Leicester factory but continued to retail bikes (badged as Currys) until the 1960s.[citation needed]

Takeover by Dixons[edit]

Currys was taken over by Dixons (now Dixons Carphone, owners of the Dixons electrical products retail chain) in 1984 but maintained its separate brand identity. In April 2006, DSG announced that its Dixons stores (except in Ireland and in duty-free areas in airports) would be rebranded as, making a total of 550 Currys stores in all.[citation needed] However, in August 2008, the Dixons stores in Ireland were rebranded as Currys,[4] similar to the UK move, but without the ".digital" suffix and with a new Currys logo.

Before the Dixons rebranding, the chain contained only a few small town centre stores compared with its much greater number of large out-of-town superstores. These stores are generally split into four main departments - Computing, Home Entertainment, Major Domestic Appliances and Small Domestic Appliances. The stores are a mix of display products and self-service sections.[citation needed]

On 17 January 2007, Group Chief Executive John Clare announced that when the leases on the remaining 'Currys High Street' stores (not the rebranded stores) expired, it would be unlikely that they would be renewed: thus the stores will be closed at the earliest opportunity.[5]

PC World combination[edit]

A combined Currys and PC World on The Headrow in Leeds

Dixons Retail began a trial combining Currys and PC World stores in January 2009, and in August declared it to be a success.[6] A number of stores have since been combined, with their store formats merged into one. In some cases this has also involved the physical knocking together of some stores which were adjacently located. All advertising for the electronics side of both chains has now been merged.

During the Dixons Carphone Christmas 2015-16 Results update to shareholders; Sebastian James, Group Chief Executive for Dixons Carphone, revealed that over the following financial year the 3-in-1 store format (stores featuring Currys, PC World and Carphone Warehouse branding under one roof) would be rolled out across the company's entire UK and Ireland portfolio .[7] The programme is expected to generate around £20 million of incremental annual earnings due to recurring costs savings as a result of removing property from the portfolio.

Concept store[edit]

In December 2011, Currys opened a new high-end concept store named "Black". The new store stocks high-end ranges and is laid out in a more fashionable way including mannequins and 'collection' displays. The store is situated in Birmingham city centre, which was chosen due to the more upmarket feel the city has created over the years, with stores such as Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and other major designers having a big presence in the area. The new branding and layout aims to attract more female shoppers who research shows feel alienated in the larger stores.[8]


  1. ^ PC World and Currys trial joint store
  2. ^ Walsh, Fiona (6 April 2006). "Dixons quits the high street after 70 years". London: The Guardian. 
  3. ^ W.A. Ecob (1 August 1936). Currys Magazine. p2: Currys Ltd. 
  4. ^ Mulligan, John (7 August 2008). "Electrical store Dixons to be rebranded under Currys name". Irish Independent. 
  5. ^ "Business Comment". London: The Independent. 2007-01-18. 
  6. ^ Parfitt, Ben (3 August 2009). "PC World and Currys combo 'a success'". MCV. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 
  7. ^ "Christmas Trading Update 2015-16" (PDF). Dixons Carphone. Dixons Carphone. 26 January 2016. Retrieved 29 February 2016. 
  8. ^ Currys and PC World go Black

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