Currys plans Megastore rollout


Electronics retailer DSGi will roll out its Currys Megastore trial to five more stores in the UK this year. The company said it could launch up to 50 more superstores across the country.

DSGi’s announcement follows that of rival electronic retailer Best Buy admitting that the UK launch of its first ‘big box’ store, via a joint venture with The Carphone Warehouse, would be delayed until early next year.

The first Currys Megastore, measuring 55,000 square feet, opened in Birmingham in October, and achieved £2.3 million of sales in its first four days.

The store is on track to generate between £30 million and £35 million of sales per year.

The company is also on track to cut £95 million in costs this financial year. It has since reformatted the Currys Megastore, as well as 13 Currys Superstores, four Currys Digital stores, 41 PC World Superstores and one trial combined Currys and PC World store. Profits in each store have increased between 15 and 50 per cent. There are plans to reformat about 70 more stores this year.

DSGi chief executive John Browett said: “The store transformation programme in the UK is delivering both sales and margin uplift ahead of expectations. While the current economic climate is impacting us in the short term, the good progress we have made with our Renewal and Transformation plan is already making a difference for our customers. This gives us confidence we will come out of the recession stronger and better positioned to deliver a good return for our shareholders.”

The group is also trialling a combined Currys and PC World store, and has so far reported a profit increase of 50 per cent. Further dual branded store trials will be launched this year.

The company claimed it could boost profits by around £20 million over the next three years by improving technical support services for customers, following from its existing service The TechGuys.

Meanwhile, Best Buy and Carphone Warehouse had planned to roll out their first ‘big box’ outlet this summer, but the launch has now been pushed back until Q1 next year. Carphone Warehouse said it was waiting for better opportunities in terms of store locations.

Carphone had previously said that around 100 Best Buy megastores would open in the UK within five years.

A DSGi spokesman said: “Competition is always good for the customer, but judging by the reception we have had from our first megastore, we are doing the right thing for the customer.

“When Best Buy does turn up in the UK, they’ll find us a different kind of competitor than what they first would have considered. They are still looking for locations and we already have 700 great locations across our UK portfolio.”