back to article Apple lures Dixons boss Browett to run global retail biz

Channel bully boy Apple has nabbed Dixons chief exec John Browett to head up its worldwide retail biz. Browett - who has presided over the struggling UK consumer giant since 2007 - will step down from the board on 20 February and leave on 20 April. He will be replaced by group operations director Sebastian James, will be …

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Unhappy

In other news, Microsoft applauds this appointment

As it is the only way their stores will be a success.

I fully expect him to dumb down the Apple Stores so that they look like bad clones of PC-World.

So how many shares in MS/Google/HTC etc does he hold?

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WTF?

Does this mean...

Apple will be flogging "Extended warranties" in their re-branded stores?

"Crab-Apple Digital" any-one?

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WTF?

Dear god, no!

Has Tim Cook set foot in a DSG store and attempted to buy something?

I expect he'll go on another rebranding exercise and move all stores to out of town retail parks - all next to each other!

He'll be telling retail staff to upsell everything in sight and pushing extended warranties!

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Anonymous Coward

I give him 6 months...

Until Apple realise that they are better at retail (profit per square foot, customer loyalty, 'buying experience') than either DSG or Tesco and have nothing to learn from this guy 8-)

I do wonder which retail manager would have got through an interview with SJ anyway.

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"Hey, how'd you like to screw up OUR business now...?"

He's hardly covered himself in glory at Dixon's group, and Dixon's is hardly the gold standard for customer experience in consumer electronics retailing.

Odd decision.

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Black Helicopters

Cunning Plan

Perhaps the plan is to listen to what he recommends changing, and do the exact opposite? ;-)

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WTF?

Tim Cooks first big mistake

He must be insane. The customer experience in PC World has always been diametrically opposed to that of Apple.

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Anonymous Coward

You're right with "always"

However Browett only joined the group in 2007, by then PC World was already offering their trademark shit experience. Maybe he left out of frustration?

I haven't set foot in one in years other than go to the pickup counter, so not sure if there have been improvements.

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Anonymous Coward

All missing the point

Apple has a good formula already with their stores, they just have to keep going with it.

Browett is good at that, PC World was rubbish when he started and it's rubbish now - but still manages to turn a profit - so clearly he's good at not changing much and doesn't squander money either. Perfect choice.

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Anonymous Coward

Maybe his particular retail experience will be useful if Apple is going to push TVs?

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Steady on

There's a few paragraphs detailing why Browett was even considered given the unmitigated shittank that is Dixons retail. I imagine if he'd come from Tesco it would have warranted a sentence.

And to be fair to Browett, cleaning up Dixons is like cleaning the Augean stables. He inherited a disaster, not created one.

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Anonymous Coward

Did Cook actually visit any Dixons store to experience "the great service" they offer??? I personally wouldn't poach anyone from Dixons, from sales assistant to CEO!

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Has the Dixons experience really improved?

"He tried to move Dixons from being a price and promo-led biz to one that highlighted customer service - at least that was the plan."

I was given a Dixons gift card at Christmas, so I had to venture into one of their stores for the first time in years. It hadn't changed much. Still lightyears away from an Apple Store.

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Here's hoping he improves the appalling repairs policy in Apple Stores, though I'm not holding my breath.

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Dixons well known for the superior in-store experience...

So can we expect clueless halfwits trying to flog us Apple kit in future? No retailer should ever try to mirror the Dixons/PC World experience...

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Although, on reflection, Browett is moving to California to become Apple's senior vice-president of retail, a role that will give him responsibility for Apple's stores in America and throughout the world.

I'm a little bit proud to see another Brit join Jony Ive at the top of the world's most valuable company!

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Had to laugh...

"Our retail stores are all about customer service, and John shares that commitment like no one else we've met."

Yep, Dixons and PC World, those two pinnacles of high street customer service excellence.

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Coffee/keyboard

Amazing

Now I know why I'm not in charge of a major brand "something".

I'm not mediocre enough!

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Simple 5 step process

1. Keep shelves sparse or empty.

1a Ensure demo machines are either locked or broken.

2. Ensure all boxes have they've been opened and re-wrapped, secured with bundling tape

3. Make sure no staff are available for questions / sales opportunities

4. Belligerent security guards who randomly insist on searching people prior to entry.

5. Multiple price points for the same product.

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The beginning of the end?

Is this the life cycle of a company?

Built up over years by driven, dedicated and inspiring leaders only for them to move on and see their legacy left like a corpse for the vultures from the old boys networks to gather around, appoint each other and sap value from until there is nothing left and they move on to their next unfortunate appointment.

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Holmes

Yes, that seems to be the case.

I see no reason why Apple should be any different, huge cash stockpile notwithstanding. That just means the decline will take longer, and perhaps be rather messier.

GJC

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Moron bar

Is it patented?

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RTFA.

Browett only joined Dixons in 2007. The economy went pear-shaped shortly afterwards and Browett's strategy involved "raising Dixons' game" to the extent that TWO rivals effectively gave up.

Browett's strategy is clearly explained in the article: he stopped the sales commissions to reduce the pushiness. He trained some 14000 staff to reduce their ignorance. He got out of foreign territories—a good move given the state of the economy in many of them, especially Italy—and began a programme of store refits.

Note that the latter process takes ages to complete; you can't just shut down every store in the land for a couple of weeks to do it. The manpower simply isn't there, so it's inevitably going to be a rolling programme of surveying each site, drawing up plans for the new layout, ordering the furnishings, signage, etc., then hiring shop-ftitters to fit it all over a period of a couple of weeks. (Less if you're lucky.)

To put this in context: the Italian equivalent to Texaco, previously known as "AGIP", rebranded itself as ENI a few years ago. Despite this, and despite the new brand still using the old "Roman wolf" logo, there are still some old "AGIP"-branded petrol stations in Lazio's countryside, where I live. One only got the refit treatment a couple of months ago. The other is still there, on the Via Cassia.

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As a consumer of electrical goods aside from the obvious branding differences between old stores and merged stores pc world has exactly the same feel and experience when I bought stuff a few months ago to when to when I bought stuff a few years ago to when I bought stuff a decade ago.

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Ah well

I'll pay me last visit to an Apple store by midsummer then.

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Big Brother

23456

No, no, no. You've got it all wrong!

Apple are known for employing people and NOT TELLING THEM where they'll be working. Browett will actually be Senior Vice President of glazing for their new spaceship headquarters. He may yet get to work on the car park.

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Unhappy

Apple Store = Customer Service?

Hopefully one of his first actions will be to put tills back into the Apple Stores again. I don't mind waiting in line for a till, but waiting around trying to flag down a passing sales droid who can be bothered to help really annoys me. Moreso as on the last 2 trips to an Apple Store I've known exactly what I wanted, I just needed to pay for it.

Note to Apple, you can sell more stuff if customers can actually pay...

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