back to article Dixons whacked by profit warning

Dixons shares took a tumble this morning after the UK's favourite electrical retailer warned markets it was unlikely to hit profit targets for the year. The company said sales were down 11 per cent in the UK and Ireland and had fallen 7 per cent across the group. It expects profits for the full year of around £85m. Market …

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  1. Richard 31
    Paris Hilton

    hmm

    How about instead of tarting up the stores they replace the arrogant and ignorant morons that staff their stores?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Pint

      agreed...

      the staff in the stores do not have a grasp of the concept of "customer services" at all...

      Send them all to the USA to work in retail for a year so they will come back and at the very least will have a clue on the concepts they need to provide some customer satisfaction.

  2. Mark Jan

    Why Are Dixons Even Surprised?

    I don't know why these warnings come as any surprise to anyone who has the misfortune to need to actually go in and buy anything from Dixons. It has to be a "distress" purchase on a Sunday afternoon...

    Invariably overpriced, often old stock, their products are lamentable with staff who rarely know their arses from their elbows. Watching anyone in store asking a member of staff about anything generally becomes a "voyage of discovery" for both the customer and the staff member.

    Don't know about their "Tech Guys" but can't see them being much better.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surely ...?

    Surely the owners took out an extended guarantee on this company?

    No ...

    Oh well.

  4. HaplessPoet
    Megaphone

    Hmmm...

    Nothing to do with their miserable high prices then?

  5. Dave Foster

    Second rate shop

    This of course has nothing to do with the fact that their goods are top price and salespeople are totally clueless?

  6. Mike Wood
    FAIL

    Tech Guys - What a bunch of Idiots

    Would never use them or recommend them after what they called my company and I am an idependent IT Service & Repair Company.

    There staff did not even know what SCSI was let allong DDR3 (they claimed it did not exist) and this is Currys in Staines!

  7. Vejazzle
    Troll

    Ignorant morons

    The Evening Standard business section ran a story a couple of weeks ago saying that John Browett was seen walking the CEO of Best Buy around a Currys Megastore. Ripe for a take over?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To Dixons:

    . Invest money in your staff (train more, stop hiring monkeys)

    . Show a bit of innovation integrating your online and high street stores

    . Lose the wide boy insurance scam sales technique

    1. Marvin the Martian
      Thumb Up

      Or alternatively,

      Instate a more effective, peanut-based incentive scheme?

    2. Geoff Mackenzie

      Well,

      he wasn't there learning how the experts do it, that's for sure.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      "after what they called my company"

      Why did you let them name your company?

  9. gautam

    Yeah Yeah

    We've heard it all before. Improve staff training and all that?

    Pay peanuts, get monkeys. And charge 19.99 for a USB cable .Simples.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    meh

    Vat goes up to 20% and people stop buying items they don't really need! Who'd have thought it!

    How does all this profit warning impact on Dixons Avent brand?

    1. Marvin the Martian
      Headmaster

      I doubt that's it.

      It's not like a price hike from £19.49 to £19.99 for say a 1.2m USB cable scared away any actual customers.

  11. Kravex
    Headmaster

    Shops run by students

    Shops nowadays don't want to pay any more than the minimum wage and fill their stores with students because of this.

    Who would want to make a 'career' out of retail sales anymore, like people used to.

  12. Magnus_Pym

    4 point plan

    "The retailer has laid out a four-point response plan to turn trading around."

    Increase staff sales targets.

    Increase staff extended guarantee targets

    Tell staff to sell more or get out

    Put prices up

  13. Robert E A Harvey

    The failings of futuremaths

    A large, long-established retailer with a simple, uneveolving, business plan incorrectly guessed that their sales would go up during a recession, and look like idiots because of it.

    Yet people in padded chairs can predice "107%" increase in sales of apple products 3 years hence with no idea how apple may change their business plan in the meantime.

    Predictions now are no more worthwhile than they were from Nostradamus.

    1. Is it me?

      Be fair

      How long would they last if they didn't forecast business growth. Next thing you'll expect is for executives to tell the truth, which I'll bet they knew.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Bye Bye Dixons

    Just like Tandy and Rumbelows, you will be part of history.

    Bye bye Dixons, you will not be missed for crap customer service and over priced goods.

  15. JWS
    WTF?

    £85m??

    Why is anyone bothered, they still made £85m, which just goes to show how many stupid people there are out there!!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    No surprises here

    I don't know how they have lasted this long TBH.

    Ridiculous prices and ignorant staff - only good for consumers who don't know any better, and for getting a look at a product before going online to buy it for much less.

    1. Vejazzle
      Troll

      Dixons Group don't sell much to Reg readers? Do bears sh*t in the woods?

      Here's the thing. None of that money came from people who read The Reg. Discerning, knowledgable and clued up punters wouldn't touch Dixons Group stores with a barge-pole.

      That just leaves the majority of the population as their potential customer base. We can all get sniffy about them but Comet are in a worse state and Best Buy lost £55m in the same market, which I why my money is on Dixons getting bought.

  17. Mooseman Silver badge
    Unhappy

    extended warranties etc

    When I was working for a high street retailer many years ago, the only way staff got bonuses above their miserable salaries was from selling extended warranties, so yes they will hassle you for them.

  18. Richard Porter
    Grenade

    Staff training?

    You mean PC World actually trains its staff?

    Sell box to punter. Sell extortionate extended warranty insurance..

  19. Jay 2
    Happy

    Dixons can be useful...

    Last year I was in the market for a new point-and-shoot camera. I narrowed it down to models from Sony, Canon and Panasonic. The Canon was in the lead until I popped into Dixons during my lunchbreak and found that someone has decided to design it to have the flash pop up right where your left index finger is usually holding the body.

    So I gained valuable information on a potential purchase. Of course when I did buy a camera, I avoided Dixons like the plague!

    1. LesC
      Unhappy

      Staff Training

      I'm one of the Sunday afternoon crowd - a contractor with a business account with DSG that needs something hardware desperately as I work odd hours and in a niche market. Going in to an unnamed PC World near North Shields usually with 13 year old IT literate daughter #1 in tow - as soon as you get past the sliding doors you inevitably get accosted by some Justin Bieber lookalike who tries to sell you a 45" Samsung flat screen - yes the one that's showing the Avatar 3D trailer or Rick Astley in an endless loop. As they're trained to be like family seeking missiles. Explaining that you have a * Epson HD projector wall * for a TV and explaining that I'm business rather than coming in for Animal Crossing, Noton, Wberoot Anti OS or cr4p lcd tv gets rid of them usually.

      Having half the store devoted to these dreadful flat screen TV's and the business section running OMG! Lolcatz I can has Cheezburger the Movie or R2D2 falling in love with a Dyson vacuum cleaner doesn't help their image much, either.

      The Tech Guys - if you go in with some 3 year old Compaq XP tech you'll hear the howls of derision followed by the sales pitch from here a couple of miles away... bargepoles have PC World locations plugged into their satnavs in the same way the rest of us have speed cameras...

      The only redeeming feature is that the business bods here are tech-savvy enough and offer reasonable discounts to the trade enabling you to keep your margins, no bad thing.

  20. AndrueC Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Favourite?

    Well /there's yer problem/.

    My favourite electrical retailer would be Amazon. Or for geeky stuff perhaps eBuyer. Certainly not one of those ancient bricks and crumbling mortar jobbies. I haven't been into a shopping centre to buy anything other than a few pints and a meal for several years now.

    They should give it up. Knock the lot down and replace them with public parks. Stick a few restaurants and other 'park friendly' entertainments in there instead. Maybe a cinema. I might actually decide it's worth going into town centres then.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Fixed

    It said consumer confidence (in anything to do with DSG), especially in the UK, was even weaker than expected since its last trading update.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Far too slow, and a gross rip-off for extras

    I took the Dixons group forever to get the Advent Vega Android tablet, then a Dock (without even a PSU), in-stock, even on-line, let alone in stores, and they missed out on massive sales of both over Xmas, because they grossly underestimated demand; this beggars belief given the surprisingly good price and specification! They will now have their early lead eaten up, now that more companies are re-badging the same tablet. I am also P-d off that they have the utter check to sell a 16GB class 2 micro-SD card for £60, given I got mine very quickly for £18 including postage, granted other retailers are bad in this respect, even so WTF!

  23. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Who the hell uses shops...

    ..for anything but looking at or trying out the goods first hand, then going to Amazon, or any other on-line retailer. Going online you benefit from

    - latest versions

    - a greater range of choice

    - on-line feedback and comparisons

    - lower costs

    - fast delivery to where I need it

    The only people who 'go shopping' are the old or infirm of mind.

    Hell - even Tesco's deliver, so there's no need to haul your ass round the supermarket full of shuffling grannies and screaming kids.

    1. JohnG

      Who the hell uses shops..

      You're right, of course - but this is also why no responsible retailers have survived. Everyone gravitates to the lowest prices, so retailers of consumer electronics either die off or become box shifters with costs pruned to the bone = staff on minimum wage, not enough staff, staff not trained, etc.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Go

        those who don't know better

        And that constituency forms a BIG market.

    2. Atonnis
      Thumb Up

      You missed...

      ...a far more important point.

      Order online and you get a mandatory 14-days to return any item no-questions-asked by law.

      Try and take something back in a shop and they'll argue and fight you left-right-and-centre, and still try to charge you for any support agreement, warranty, insurance you may have signed for - and then hound you when you cancel the direct debit.

      Always go online - better evidence of purchase, better return policy, and everything you already said.

    3. A J Stiles

      I use shops

      But I use local, independent retailers who actually know and care about the stuff they are selling. Not national chains with fatcat directors' cocaine and hooker budgets to meet.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Who the hell uses shops"

      Have to second that. There are so many alternatives now that to restrict yourself to just the items on sale within walking or driving distance of your house is foolishness.

      Sometimes the choice is too bewildering but regardless I'd rather make it myself and risk getting it wrong than let "faceless marketing droid X" decide everything for me based on his notion of "what people want". Because what people want is invariably not what I want. Big sub woofer with my speakers? No thanks, I like my music to not sound like shit.

      Headphones, when was the last time you walked into a store that sold good ones? Probably never, because stores assume you want the consumer grade crap with the lime green headband. Well no actually I don't. Nobody seems to care about their hearing anymore either. I sometimes imagine that in 20 years time I will be the only person left who didn't abuse his ears to the point of total destruction.

  24. chadley_chad
    FAIL

    Any wonder

    I went into a new Curry's store last weekend, very nice ... VERY nice ... but as usual, hopeless sales staff with no knowledge or penchant for understanding (not suprising based on what they're probably paid; you're never gonna get IT aware staff for peanuts!).

    Biggest fail though, iPad accessories at 2 - 3 times the price of the internet. A £9.99 Amazon Targus iPad case was £25 ... rest my case!!!!

    As for the other stores (at least in Nottingham) small, cramped, scruffy, terrible staff, terrible service, terrible price ... I always buy from John Lewis (worth the extra) or the interweb for the VERY best price!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Castle Marina?

      agreed on the clulessness.. they should stick to white goods.

      It wouldn't hurt if they were told that sometimes the customer knows better.. so they could at least bare that in mind before blatently trying to explain something they know nothing about...

    2. The Pope
      Dead Vulture

      That's nothing...

      10m CAT6 cable from Dixons - £40

      10m CAT6 cable online - <£10

      RIP Dixons

    3. Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face

      I noticed that too...

      Weird, all the staff in my local store are a bit on the short and scruffy side too ;-)

      I did a summer at Dixons after finishing uni many years ago. It was basically an.. erm.. ego measuring contest between the staff to see who could top the sales leaderboard. They'd rip stuff out of the window displays and rebox it as new on the quiet, whilst the customer was waiting for their item to be retrieved from the "stock room".

  25. David Lawrence
    FAIL

    My last visit to Dixons.....

    ...was not a good experience. I needed a replacement power supply for a popular brand of laptop and was hoping they might sell a universal one. All they had was some clever (green?) universal adapter for the amazing knock-down bargain price of £70. Even then they were hidden away on a shelf behind the counter and I had to ask to see them, having wasted several minutes ascertaining that they were not on display anywhere.

    Suffice to say I reluctantly declined the offer of the bargain PSU and took my business to the webz where I was well served with a choice of lower cost, good quality options.

    I noticed while I was in there that their pricing model for other items (memory cards in particular) was more than a bit crazy too.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    USB cable

    £19.99

    Perhaps they think we are the morons?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Justice

    Take the wine from the swines and remind them of their crimes!

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Megaphone

    "The retailer has laid out a four-point response plan to turn trading around."

    1. Sell quality products and only quality products. (Seriously, no one wants a "choice" that involves picking the one decent option out from a lineup of shiny turds).

    2. Don't cheat the customer. We might have been naive about electronics a decade ago, but not anymore. Nobody wants to drop £200 on a "Helium impregnated USB cable", it's time you stopped asking.

    3. Hire staff who have actually used electricity before. Or if you can't do that, at least tell your yokels to stop lying all the time. And yes, sneaking items into my trolley while I am not looking is dishonest.

    4. Stop selling warranties that cost more than the items they cover without offering a meaningful period of protection. If you must charge £500 for a warranty on a £300 laptop, people expect a certain level of service for their money. They do not expect you to format their hard drive regardless of what their problem is. They do not want you to delete all of their data without warning or explanation. Not for £500. It is not acceptable behavior and we will not accept it. THAT'S why you don't have any customers.

  29. Evil Genius
    FAIL

    Consumer confidence weak....

    ...in DSG's ability to do anything.

    Sounds to me like UK consumers have just got wise.

  30. me 13

    I don't need no stinking title.....

    Makes you wonder why they are currently spending millions rebranding themselves from DSG to KnowHow?

    Thing is, the logo is supposed to be a Power button, which is surrounded by a circle of rainbow colours.

    A gay friend of mine saw the logo and instantly said, 'Gay Pride'.

    I wonder how many millions was spent on that?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    People might have spotted

    Some good news for Spain in the article.

  32. KeepBangingTheRocksTogetherGuys!
    FAIL

    Dixons are bad!

    I went into Dixons in Southampton last weekend while the missus was clothes shopping. not to buy anything just to have a play with an iPad 2.

    However I got distracted by the biggest tech lie I've ever seen in my life. They were trying to flog Norton 360 and had a sign saying Top 5 reasons why you need Norton 360. The first item on the list said:

    "A computer is attacked within 12 minutes of being turned on - you need protection for your new PC"

    I laughed and tried to find a sales assistant to ask how they had arrived at that conclusion. Couldn't find any so I snapped a pic of it using my phone, feel like I should submit it to Digg or Reddit. I'm tempted to get a marker pen, go back there and scribble this out and put the URL for MS Security essentials and write the word free!

  33. Wayne

    Dixons are killing Dixons

    Dixons have been quite clear - they do not want the public in their stores.

    I recently found a great deal on a Nikon D700 online just after my D200 was stolen. Their price was really good. I happened to be near one of their Megastores and stopped in.

    Would they sell me the device for that price? Not a chance!

    So I bought it from WarehouseExpress just to spite them, even though their online offering was lower.

    1. A J Stiles
      Linux

      I have protection for my PC

      It's called "privilege separation built in from the ground up, and enforced by all applications".

      For non-techies: All the locks were screwed on from the *insides* of the doors when the business centre was built, and anybody who needs access to an office gets given a key that opens *only* that office. (In fact, they don't even know the doors for which they don't have keys are even there).

  34. Fenton

    Much better alternatives

    DSG need to look at the likes of John Lewis.

    Staff are fairly clued up. They price match offer a really good warrenty without extra payment.

    If anything goes wrong they honor it.

    Yes you can't buy that IDE to SATA converter then again you can't find them at PC world anyway.

    The only time I ever go into a DSG store is to buy white goods or some printer ink if I run out during some work related print task.

  35. Greg J Preece

    Had the misfortune of walking into Dixons 2 weeks back

    We saw a clearance bin, thought it would be good for a laugh. I wasn't wrong. 5m HDMI cable for £60! Not sure they enjoyed our amusement as we left.

    How do they not get this?

  36. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Direction and Leadership

    The primary problem with DSG can be sumerised in one word "management", as in the complete lack of leadership and direction.

    Go in to a PC World store, and have a look around, it has stationary, TV's, etc. They have tried to do a bit of everything, and failed to achieve anything.

    My suggestion to the shareholders, is sack the board, and hire somebody with VISION, focus the stores on a particular market, and do it well.

    Online will always be cheaper than retail (those building and staff expenses), but you can get walk in customers, if they know that they want a part they can get it (even if it is more expensive than online)

    As a practical example, I needed a USB adapter, went to PCW, they didn't have any, the staff suggestion was the location of the nearest Maplin (useful for the customer, not so good for the sales)

  37. Zot

    People go into PC world / Currys to check out goods, then...

    ... go home and buy it on-line.

    It's a place to browse, feel the weight, press a couple of buttons, then buy it 10%+ cheaper somewhere else.

  38. HelenaHandcart

    Insurance claims

    Following a burglary we have to replace several electronic items. The insurers have dealt with this by valuing the items on the Currys website and issuing a DSG voucher to that value (for which the insurance company gets a big discount). Thus, much as I loathe DSG, we will have to shop there and at DSG's prices.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Contrast between two shops

      In Bristol there is a very large new Currys/PC World not far from a very large John Lewis.

      The contrast in attitude & sales technique is vast. I decided to buy a new PC:

      PCWorld

      Horrid "greeter" pounces with, "What have you come to buy?" I found the PCs without his help where I was pounced on again. When I said that I was looking a new PC, the dolt started telling how good a particular tower was for games and that its capability would be enhanced tremendously if I bought a new screen, too. He was so odious that I walked out and over to..

      John Lewis

      I browsed the PCs for a while at peace and an elderly salesman politely asked if I needed any help. I said that I needed a new PC and he responded with the right question, "What sort of things do you use a PC for?" "Just email and secretarial stuff (I'm the Sec. of a couple of clubs)". "Perhaps you'd be interested in this one - Compaq/HP, I think that it's the best value one we sell and it's the cheapest". We went on to have a grown up conversation about W7 and agreed that I had been lucky in "missing out" Vista!

      I enjoyed his company, presence and knowledge. I bought the machine he recommended. I had occasion to use the warranty since at two months in the HP diagnostic SW detected that the HD might fail. Again their service was very good.

      I am nearly 70. 40 years in IT, I started when we used paper tape & cards. I like being treated like a grown up by sales people who start by asking what it is that I need. I would recommend JL for anyone wanting a new PC or TV.

      Anyway, it's in the numbers JL goes on growing, particularly in this area.

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