DSG International (retailer)

DSG International (retailer)

Infobox Company
company_name = DSG international plc
company_type = Public (lse|DSGI)
company_slogan = Currys - with you in mind
foundation = 1937
location = Hemel Hempstead, UK
key_people = Lord Kalms of Edgware (President)
Sir John Collins (Chairman)
John Browett (Group Chief Executive)
industry = Retail
products = Brown goods
White goods
Information Technology
revenue = £8,545.9 million (2008)
operating_income =£(199.3) million (2008)
net_income =£(259.7) million (2008)
num_employees =Circa 40,730 (2008)
homepage = [http://www.dsgiplc.com/ www.dsgiplc.com]

DSG international plc (lse|DSGI) is one of the largest consumer electronics retailers in Europe. The company operates the Dixons, Dixons Tax Free, Currys, Currys.digital and PC World stores along with many other brands across Europe.

The Company, formerly known as "Dixons Stores Group plc", specialises in the sale of high 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). Alternate products and services provided by the group included electrical products, spares accessories and repairs, mobile services, online digital photo processing, pre-recorded media and childcare equipment. The Company's main competitor is Kesa Electricals plc, which owns Comet and Darty.

The Company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.


Early years

The Company was founded by Charles Kalms and Michael Mindel in 1937 in the High Street in Southend under the name of "Dixons Studios Limited". [http://www.dsgiplc.com/layout.aspx?ID=03fdd140-ce95-4044-9a07-aec8ea967d42 DSG International History 1930-1949] ] The name "Dixons", selected randomly from the telephone directory, was sufficiently short to fit above the small shop front. During the early 1940s the Company set up seven studios in the London area but by the end of the 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 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. [ [http://www.dsgiplc.com/layout.aspx?ID=fa0bda19-8048-436a-9f34-1da8570a8cd7&CatID=8ae4841d-e363-4613-9253-4520725a3159 DSG International History 1950-1959] ]

The Company was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1962 changing its name at that time to "Dixons Photographic Limited". [http://www.dsgiplc.com/layout.aspx?ID=fa0bda19-8048-436a-9f34-1da8570a8cd7&CatID=8ae4841d-e363-4613-9253-4520725a3159 DSG International History 1960-1969] ] It bought out competitors, "Ascotts", in 1962 and "Bennetts", in 1964. In 1967 the Company bought an convert|85000|sqft|m2|-2|abbr=on colour processing laboratory in Stevenage.

Charles Kalms was succeeded by his son Stanley in 1971. [http://www.dsgiplc.com/layout.aspx?ID=99ec9d67-6457-4474-af2a-208796f48704&CatID=e929836f-dc4a-4bab-a3a2-db26dd5ea73b DSG International History 1970-1979] ] In 1972 the Company acquired another competitor, "Wallace Heaton" and in 1974 it opened its Stevenage Distribution Centre.

In 1982 the Company introduced its own Saisho brand range of electronic goods. [http://www.dsgiplc.com/layout.aspx?ID=c451f4a7-5a1b-4da6-b3d9-90820e52a807&CatID=1b0b733d-ac4d-4324-b3be-fe9647ebc0f8 DSG International History 1980-1989] ] The Company bought "Currys", an electrical retailer, together with "Mastercare", the nationwide electrical appliance service organisation in 1984, the "Supasnaps" chain of photo shops in 1986, Silo, the US's third largest power retailer in 1987 and "Wigfalls", a Midlands-based retailer, in 1988.


In 1993 the Company bought "Vision Technology Group (VTG)", which operated stores operating under the "PC World" brand at Croydon, Lakeside Shopping Centre, Brentford and Staples Corner. [http://www.dsgiplc.com/layout.aspx?ID=fc782c9d-c3ac-43bb-a6b1-b5ed179aa902&CatID=59df4302-e3cd-4b67-9cf5-fb69c453aa26 DSG International History 1990-1999] ] Later that year the Company sold "VTG's" mail order division, "Dixons US Holdings Inc" and "Supasnaps".

In 1994 the first "Dixons Tax Free" store opened at Heathrow Terminal 3, "The Link", the Company's first venture into communications was launched and the head office moved to Hemel Hempstead. The Company acquired "DN Computer Services", a computer reseller business, in 1996.

The Company acquired the retail assets of "Harry Moore Ltd", an Ireland-based electrical retailer, allowing the group to strengthened its presence in Ireland. In 1997 "Telecom Securicor Cellular Radio Ltd" (Cellnet) bought a 40 per cent stake in "The Link" and the "Dixons website" was launched. In 1998 "Freeserve", the free internet service, was launched: it was later sold to France Telecom and renamed "Wanadoo". In 1999 the Company announced the acquisition of Elkjøp ASA, a leading Nordic retailer. [ [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_19991130/ai_n14270774 Dixons moves into Europe with £440m Norwegian buy] ]


In 2002 acquired "UniEuro", a leading Italian-based electrical retailer, [ [http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/dixons-in-pound230m-unieuro-takeover-613617.html Dixons in £230m UniEuro takeover] ] as well as "Genesis Communications", a mobile phone service operator. [http://www.dsgiplc.com/layout.aspx?ID=985c60de-7a46-41f2-9252-483894f4b7f2&CatID=fbc398f9-ca21-45db-898f-0f7f6bd74c4e DSG International History 2000 Onwards] ] The Company also opened its first "Electro World" store in Hungary. [ [http://www.amcham.hu/BusinessHUngary/16-03/articles/16-03_06.asp Megastore sets off Electro riot] ]

In 2005 the Company acquired an interest in "Eldorado Group", the largest electrical retailer in Russia and Ukraine, with an option to buy it by 2011 at a fixed price of $1.9 billion (£1 billion). [ [http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2005/04/15/dixons_eldorado/ Dixons looks to Russian Eldorado for growth] ]

The Company was awarded The Queen's Award for Enterprise in 2006 and also announced announced that the "Dixons" brand would continue purely online and that all high-street "Dixons" stores would be rebranded "Currys.digital". Also that year the Company bought 75% of Fotovista, a French photographic business. [ [http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2006/04/13/dsg_etail/ DSG snaps up Euro photo etailer] ]

In January 2008 the Company announced that it would stop selling analogue TVs in "PC World", "Currys" and "Currys.digital" stores. Instead, only Integrated Digital Televisions would be sold in an effort to ready consumers for the Digital switchover in the UK. [" [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7202014.stm Currys stops selling analogue TVs] " "BBC News January 22nd 2008"]

In May 2008 the Company announced [" [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7402090.stm Currys.digital to close 77 stores] " "BBC News May 15th 2008"] that it will close 77 of its 177 UK "Currys.digital" shops as their building leases expire over the next five years. This is part of a cost cutting drive aimed at saving £50m in 2008-9. This was a reduced amount to the predicted 200 store closure. [" [http://channel.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=13239 DSGi predicted to close up to 200 stores] " "Hexus Channel May 12th 2008"] The reduction reflected the news of US Electrical rival Best Buy is seeking to establish itself within the UK. [" [http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/best-buy-may-target-uk/story.aspx?guid=%7B4E29225E-9832-4B8D-8272-B3601BD46C6A%7D&dist=msr_2 Best Buy may target UK retailers] " "MarketWatcj May 11th 2008"]


The Company's structure is as follows: [ [http://www.dsgiplc.com/layout.aspx?ID=9e0d6ca3-0ae3-4686-a528-475f6b8da102&CatID=95aa4925-eb4c-496b-a814-ac5040cee9df DSG International Structure] ]

Electricals Division

CurrysCurrys claims to be the UK's largest electrical retailer. They also have a number of stores in the Republic of Ireland. The company's primary market is white and brown goods, but they also sell small kitchen appliances, computers and mobile phones. Currys specialise in home electronics and household appliances.

Currys.digitalCurrys.digital is the rebranded name for Dixons retail outlets in the UK (excluding Ireland and the Dixons Tax Free stores operating from UK airports). Currys.digital markets itself as a specialist division of Currys aimed at the technology-focused consumer with product ranges such as cameras, personal computers, audio and video equipment.

DistributionDistribution to customers is undertaken throughout two different routes, the first being from Home Delivery Centres (previously known as X-Docks), supplying larger items throughout the country. These centres are at Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds, Newton Aycliffe, Epsom, Erith, Plympton, Southampton and Perivale: they are supplied by two main stock centres (HUBs) based in Newark and Bristol. The second route, Customer Distribution Centres, supplies smaller items direct to customers via a third party courier. Distribution to stores is also undertaken via two different routes, firstly Regional Distribution Centres supplying larger items, based at the sames sites in Newark and Bristol covering the North and South on the country respectively. The second route uses the Customer Distribution Centres.

DSG Ireland DSG Ireland has stores in the major centres of the Republic of Ireland. DSG Ireland have announced that they will not be adopting the new Currys.digital branding for high-street stores, instead retaining the traditional Dixons branding, with Currys being used exclusively for large-format superstores.

Electro World Electro World is DSG international’s chain of electrical superstores in Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland. In Hungary the first convert|43000|sqft|m2|-2|abbr=on hyperstore opened in Budaörs, Budapest in 2002, prompting extensive customer interest. Further stores have now opened. In the Czech Republic the first Electro World store opened in Praha Zlicin in 2002. Further stores have now opened. In Poland the first Electro World store was opened in October 2005 at the Targowek commercial center in Warsaw. Further stores have now opened. Electro World operates a Central Europe distribution centre just outside the city of Brno. The convert|28000|sqft|m2|-2 warehouse is the largest warehouse facility for non-food goods in the Czech Republic.

Κωτσοβολος (Kotsovolos) Kotsovolos is an electrical retailer in Greece. It operates the Kotsovolos, Radio Athinae (brown and white goods and computers) and One Way brands (mobile telephony equipment).

El Giganten El Giganten operates stores across Sweden, Denmark and the Faroe Islands selling white goods, brown goods, consumer electronics, Personal Computerss, communications products and related services.

Gigantti Gigantti operates retail stores across Finland selling white goods, brown goods, consumer electronics, Personal Computerss, communications products and related services.

Lefdal Lavpris Lefdal Lavpris operates larger retail stores across Norway selling white goods, brown goods, consumer electronics, Personal Computers, communications products and related services.

UniEuro UniEuro currently operates stores concentrated in the north west and north east of Italy. The stores sell a mixture of high technology consumer electronics, personal computers, domestic appliances, photographic equipment, communication products and related services. The proposition is focused on competitive prices, customer service and new technology.

Markantalo Markantalo operates retail stores across Finland selling white goods, brown goods, consumer electronics, Personal Computerss, communications products and related services.

Elkjøp Elkjøp operates smaller and medium sized retail stores across Norway selling white goods, brown goods, consumer electronics, Personal Computers, communications products and related services.

DSG Insurance Services DSG Insurance Services offers an insurance service for electrical goods as well as a claims handling service. An end to end service is offered, from initial call handling and claim validation, through to repair or replacement – either with replacement goods or an insurance replacement voucher – and after-sales support.

DSGI Sourcing provides a sourcing service for products for key customers.

Computing Division

PC World
PC World is a specialist chain of computer superstores.

PC City
PC City exists in continental Europe as an extension of the Company's PC World chain. Beginning with the acquisition of Ei System in Spain, the company has expanded in the intervening years and now has a presence in Spain, Portugal, France, Italy and Sweden.

DSGI Business DSGI Business is a specialist provider of IT solutions to business and the public sector. It offers dedicated business account managers and highly-qualified technical experts to provide, manage and maintain business IT systems. The company has specialist Business Centres in each of more than PC World stores across the country, offering immediate access to products.

The TechGuys The TechGuys is a merger of the repair division of the former Mastercare and PC ServiceCall. It provides IT technical support for Personal Computers and technical repair services for home entertainment products. The brand is also used for the PC World in-store technical and data engineers. The Nottingham-based TechGuys call centre is operated by Capita, the only part of the operation that is not presently run in-house.

DSG Business Services DSG Business Services sells goods to major customers and provides an account management system for them.

Genesis Genesis Communications is the UK's largest independent mobile service provider, operating in the business to business sector. It has partnerships with the UK's major mobile networks and offers a full wireless service, including hardware, customer account management and billing. Genesis is also the UK's leading supplier of wireless data services to the SME market, including 3G and Blackberry solutions.

New Businesses Division

Dixons.co.uk Dixons.co.uk is an an online retailer.

Pixmania Pixmania is a pan-European e-tailer of digital photographic and consumer electronic goods. In March 2007 DSG announced it has identified a "significant fraud operation" at the Parisian warehouse operations of Pixmania. They are estimated to have lost £8m worth of electronic goods.cite web
title = Alleged fraud at Fotovista could cost DSGi £8m
publisher = The Telegraph
date = 29 March 2007
url = http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2007/03/29/bcndsg29.xml
accessdate = 2007-03-29

Other businesses

whateverhappens whateverhappens is the rebranded successor of Coverplan within the Currys chain. Currys stopped selling Coverplan in 2005 launching the improved whateverhappens policy as its replacement. The product support is offered on most electrical purchases from Currys and now Currys.digital.

Fotovista group Fotovista Group is a French based photographic business founded as "Studio National" in 1970 by brothers Pierre and Jean-Claude Rosenblum.

Partmaster.co.uk Partmaster.co.uk offers a large range of accessories and spares for a range of products for the home. They cover all domestic appliances, computing, home entertainment products such as televisions and DVD players, ipods, satellite navigation, gaming and mobile phones.

Former business brands and companies

Mastercare Commercial service Mastercare Commercial Services offered IT services to the commercial IT industry. A call centre provided telephone and email support, and a team of field based technicians and engineers provided repairs to Personal Computers and laptops and made insurance inspections for insurance companies. The business was rebranded and merged with The TechGuys in September 2006. From 2008 the majority of all Commercial work has been outsourced.

The Link The Link is a UK mobile phone retailer. In June 2006 DSG International sold the whole of its stake in The Link to O2. DSG International are still honouring all contracts that exist with The Link but are no longer issuing new insurance covers on mobile phones.

Freeserve DSG International founded the UK Internet Service Provider Freeserve, which was later purchased by France Télécom, and rebranded as "Wanadoo". Wanadoo has since been rebranded again in the UK under the Orange brand.

Financial results

The following table shows the Company's financial results:
*The above trend profits for 2000 and 2001 were primarily attributable
to profits on disposal of Freeserve shares. +Pre stock split.


See also

* European Retail Round Table

External links

* [http://www.dsgiplc.com/ Official site]

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