Currys plc is the new name, introduced in October 2021, for what was previously Dixons Carphone Group. That business was itself created in 2014 from the merger of rival electronics retailers Dixons Retail and Carphone Warehouse. Dixons had long held a position as the UK's most influential champion of mass-market electronics. For more than 50 years until 2005, the chain served as the principal gateway into British homes for the introduction of affordable cameras, audio equipment, computers and more recently the internet and DVDs. However the main brand within what was then Dixons Stores Group was increasingly overshadowed by sister chains Currys and PC World, and also by a push into Europe. Those developments prompted a change of corporate name to DSG International in 2005, as well as a phasing out of the original Dixons brand in favour of Currys. The DSG name, however, failed to chime with customers, and the group eventually changed its name back to Dixons Retail Group in 2010. At the same time, Currys and PC World combined as a single business under the name Currys PC World. That chain is still the UK's biggest bricks and mortar electronics retailer by some margin. However mainland Europe has proved much more challenging, and most businesses outside Scandinavia - where it owns the electronics retailers Elkjop and El Giganten - had been divested or closed by 2014. That year, the group agreed terms for a merger with mobile phone seller Carphone Warehouse to create a giant new group with revenues over £12bn a year. However, performance has come under intense pressure since then, especially in 2017, from Amazon and other online retailers, forcing the closure of several outlets in the UK. In 2020, the group announced the closure of its entire Carphone Warehouse standalone network, with the loss of almost 3,000 jobs. Reported revenues have been in slow but steady decline for several years as a result of the gradual consolidation of the business. Topline for the year to May 2021 was £10.3bn, and the group reported an absolute breakeven. The UK & Ireland accounted for 54% of revenues and Scandinavia for most of the rest. Alex Baldock succeeded Sebastian James as chief executive in 2018. A complete (and long overdue) overhaul of the UK business in 2021 led to the merger of all the group's local brands under the unified Currys banner. The PC World, Carphone Warehouse and Dixons Carphone names were all eliminated.
Capsule checked 17th June 2020
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Recent stories from Adbrands Update:
Adbrands Daily Update 17th Mar 2020: Dixons Carphone announced the closure of its entire standalone Carphone Warehouse network across the UK. All 530 outlets will be shuttered in April in favour of instore concessions within existing Curry's PC World stores. The group said around 40% of staff will be offered new roles but the remaining 2,900 jobs will be lost. Carphone Warehouse has experienced a sharp decline in performance over the past few years as customers delay upgrades or shift to online service.
Adbrands Social Media 2nd Nov 2018: "Christmas Upgraded". It's been a busy few weeks on the Christmas front at AMV BBDO, which also issued its debut campaign for Asda this week. This ad, though, is for electronics retailer Curry's PC World. Actually, it's actually probably the best of the early British Yuletide releases. Taking that old Victorian Christmas chestnut and upgrading it with today's technology actually makes for several good gags. Best laugh is probably the big screen footie down the pub circa 1895, but Google the Butler comes close behind. Right, I think that's enough Christmas ads for one day. And possibly even for one year as well. Bah! Humbug!
Adbrands Weekly Update 30th Jun 2016: UK-based electronics retailer Dixons Carphone reported solid performance for the year to April. Pretax profits jumped 17% to £447m, despite a marginal decline in revenues to £9.74bn as a result of currencies. The company said it enjoyed the best trading day in its history on last year's "Black Friday" pre-Christmas shopping festival, including an average of five online purchases per second as a result of promotional discounts. CEO Seb James said the group had taken steps to hedge against the effects of Britain's exit from the EU, but told the BBC "It's going to be very important that we do everything in our power to remain in the single market."
Adbrands Weekly Update 22nd Jul 2015: British electronics retailer Dixons Carphone reported a strong set of results for its first year of trading, following the merger of Dixons Retail and Carphone Warehouse. Revenues for the year to April were £9.94bn, up 6% on a like-for-like basis, while pretax profits jumped 21% to £381m. In its core markets of the UK & Ireland, combined sales rose 8% to £6.45bn
Adbrands Weekly Update 2nd July 2015: UK electronics retailer Dixons Carphone is to make a bold push into the US in a partnership with Sprint to open and run an initial 20 mobile retail stores. If the first wave of openings goes well, the partnership could be extended to as many as 500 outlets. Carphone Warehouse is no stranger to the US market. In the 2000s it managed the mobile counters of local big box electronics retailer Best Buy. That extremely successful partnership ended in 2011 after the failure of a similar joint venture in Europe.
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