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From: Steve Johnston
Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1998 15:42:06 +0100

Let's face it Dixons is on the whole a dreadful place to shop, and I rarely meet anybody who has a kind word to say about any of the Dixons Group stores (PCWorld, Currys, The Link & Dixons). But to the 'mass' market without whom our embryonic endeavours are futile in the long run, Dixons is their gateway (nay, portal) to the sexy and fast-growing world of high-powered consumer electronics. As such, Dixons have a profound influence and a move like this should be embraced by the 'new media' industry as being of enormous benefit. Dixons windows are full of 'Free internet access' posters. This is good news.

When you add to this the fact that somewhere within a terrifyingly 'traditional' retail business, in which executives will routinely sell their Grannies for half a percent, a huge leap of faith in the future has been taken, and I would dearly love to see the internal justification for it. When big legacy businesses such as the Dixons Group make investment decisions the numbers are worked extremely hard, so what numbers are they working on here in which John Clare (CEO) and Stanley Kalms (Chairman) are confident of their exposure to risk and the likely return.

The IMRG spends a good deal of time with big brand retailers, and frankly it is depressing how limited the vision and understanding present is. So to see Dixons make a move like this is extremely good news. Retailers typically wait for their competition to move so that they have something to measure their own position against. Dixons' move will be very good for retailer attitudes towards the internet.

Of course there are many holes to pick in the detail, and we all love having someone to hate, but c'mon people, don't be so predictable.

(Incidentally Dixons are not currently a member of the IMRG and the above is not an attempt to impress them into becoming one. Frankly I would be dumbstruck if anyone from the Dixons Group subscribed.)


Steve Johnston
Director of Development
IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group)

5 Dryden Street, Covent Garden,
London WC2E 9NW, UK

Tel: +44 (0)7000 46 46 74
Fax: +44 (0)7000 39 46 74
Personal No: +44 (0)7050 6050 33
E-mail: steveatimrg [dot] org
The IMRG is the best source of commercial
advantage for retail in the 4th channel


  Re: UKNM: RE: DIXONS - FREE SHARE, Richard Longhurst

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