back to article Dixons bigwig dispatched to salvage gadget souk PIXmania

Dixons Retail is understood to have placed Equanet boss Phil Birbeck in charge of its loss-making online operation PIXmania after coughing €10m (£7.86m) to buy the founders' remaining shareholding. Birbeck took control of Equanet, the IT reseller arm of the consumer giant, at the start of 2010 having previously headed up the …

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Price is Key

I bought my first digital camera from Pixmania a good number of years ago, and that is because it was competitively priced vs the other internet retailers of the time. Since they became a DSG brand, their pricing only equals that of their peers within that group. And the only reason I go to a DSG store is to look for the yellow stickers, otherwise I'll get it off the internet and wait the 24hrs.

DSG need to slash their profit margins (if if they're not making much profit from sales, slash the costs from the balance sheet) to compete with the etailers. If they were 'Internet cost + what the shipping would cost + a couple of percent on top' priced, then I would probably buy my stuff from them, but when they're 30-100% more expensive then its just not a viable option.

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Re: Price is Key

Voila - I'm more than happy to pay a convenience premium to get it "now". The issue is in the size of that premium - something under 10% as compared against t'internet (and I'm not talking about having it shipped from Timbuktu and hoping to dodge VAT on import - I'm talking about other reputable EU suppliers with stock that could get it to me next day)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Price is Key

I experienced the opposite only recently, the one and only time I have used Pixmania was to purchase the Arnova/Archos ChildPad which was at least £20 cheaper with Pixmania than anywhere else.

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Re: Price is Key

I think they're content to rip off people who don't know any better or people in a hurry, TBH, I think that's where they've decided their market is.

Just this week I was after an empty RAID enclosure, price to get it in about an hour from my local PC World: £300. Price to get it in 3-5 days from Amazon: £200. Nope, I'm not in that much of a hurry, thank you. I *might* have paid £230 to get it immediately, but as it is DSG are SOL and another sale goes elsewhere.

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Meh

DSG are cowboys, the sooner these box shifters go bust the better.

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Anonymous Coward

consumer giant?

Has a lot of shops does not equal consumer giant

In this instance, it equals failing flop.

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Happy

"The Channel is awaiting comment from Dixons on Birbeck's appointment"

Music to my ears!

Would that I never see another unreturned request...

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Anonymous Coward

not good value

I have a equanet account, as well as ingram and C2000 however I can buy everything I need far less at ebuyer and others.

How is it that the general public can buy kit lower than we can get 'in the industry'?

Maybe pix will be competitive? who knows

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I have an idea for DSG

1. Get rid of/merge half your stores

2. Get shot of most of the warranty shifting idiots you call salespeople and replace them with staff who know what they are talking about and might actually aim to sell PRODUCTS instead of a warranty.

3. Pay staff a proper wage in the first place instead of relying on sales commissions to bolster their pay. That way you may get staff who care and will give proper customer service instead of staff who are worrying about what crap they need to do to get themselves a decent wage for that week.

4. Stop trying to fleece customers by trying to flog them cables for £20 that they can buy at H&M for £2

5. Keep your stock more up to date instead of doing a "Woolworths".

6. Pray that the many customers you've managed to piss off over many years give you another chance.

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Devil

Once was enough

I was stupid enough to buy a mobile phone from Pixmania maybe five or six years ago. I received a "grey import" without even a UK adapter for the charger, instruction manual in Mongolian or something, and it was a total nightmare to get them to take it back. I didn't realise they were part of DSG, and perhaps they weren't at that time, but I will never buy anything from them ever again.

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FAIL

Reputational damage

Salvaging a balance sheet is one thing, salvagaing a reputation, another. Pixmania's rep is abyssmal. Complaint after complaint litters the 'Net, a common theme being the lament that buyers hadn't realised they were buying from a 'foreign' company. Quite why DSG allows Pixmania to have a UK presence at all escapes me, but then, quite why UK buyers allow Dixons to have a continuing presence is also beyond my comprehension: Amazon, eBuyer and even Comet trounce it.

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