Dixons ditches high street for the Web

The electrical retailer is abandoning bricks-and-mortar approach and moving purely online, where revenues have soared in recent years

Dixons will move off the high street and exist purely as an online retailer, Dixons Services Group announced on Wednesday.

Electrical goods retailer DSG said that it will rebrand its high street Dixons stores as Currys.digital, and move the Dixons brand completely online in the UK.

Rebranding 190 Dixons shops to become Currys.digital is expected to cost approximately £7m. The changes are expected to deliver annual savings of £3m in central costs, according to DSG.

DSG said that Currys and Dixons would be able to "more clearly differentiate their approach through two channels to market (retailing and e-tailing)".

"I am very excited about the prospects for the Dixons brand as a pure-play e-tailer," said John Clare, group chief executive of DSG, in a statement. "Customer buying behaviours are developing with the growth in broadband usage and, as a group, we constantly adapt and innovate to support how our customers shop," Clare added.

Dixons e-commerce operation has recorded more than 50 percent year-on-year sales growth over the last four years, while its high street stores have lost out to online retailers. DSG reduced its high street presence by a third in April 2004, when it axed 106 stores.

DSG has also experienced difficulties with other parts of its group. In September last year, DSG warned of disappointing sales at its PC World outlets, which sell computer hardware, software and services to small businesses and consumers.

The conversion of Dixons stores is expected to start early in May. All current Dixons staff have the option of transferring to Currys, DSG said. The number of Currys stores will rise to 550.