Byte says UK retail won't welcome newcomers

An executive at retail market leader Byte Computer Superstores today said that he doesn't expect any rival other than the Dixons group to lay down a serious challenge in the UK PC sector.

"We [Byte and Dixons] can both exist," said Steve Rigby, operations director at Birmingham-based Byte. "In retail of any kind there are always two major players. I'm not after the biggest revenues, I'm after the most profitability. In number of locations we are the biggest; in square feet they are probably the biggest. I don't think there's room for another player at the top."

Rigby also rebuffed suggestions that mail-order PC sales will decline in favour of lower-cost channel such as mail-order as the market matures: "If you look at sales of branded PCs selling mail-order, they're declining rapidly. More people go towards branded products through retail. We're starting to send out press releases to The Sun and the Star because buying a PC is not just for high-income families any more. With our own Patriot PC brand we can get within 10 per cent of prices from the likes of Tiny, Opus, Dell and Gateway."