The chief executive of Dixons Retail, Sebastian James claims that his rival Comet was killed off by a “structurally unsound” sale to OpCapita and its inability to invest in online technology.
The chief executive of Dixons Retail, Sebastian James claims that his rival Comet was killed off by a “structurally unsound” sale to OpCapita and its inability to invest in online technology,
Sebastian James said that Dixons, which owns Currys and PC World, wants to buy “half a dozen” Comet shops, however he expects the retailer will “disappear from the High Street in the next few weeks”.
The Comet brand is mostly likely to be acquired by an internet business, the Dixons chief executive added.
He warned resellers that the death of Comet could damage the Christmas market as Comet conducts a “fire sale” of its stock.
However in the long term Currys and PC World will “benefit from the consolidation” in the sector.
Comet administrators have already shuttered 41 shops and plan to close another 125 over the next few weeks. Dixons has already hired 171 full-time staff from Comet .
James said that it was obvious why Comet fell — its rivals reacted aggressively to existential shift in the retail industry towards the Internet while Comet did not.
While Comet was better than their rivals five years ago they lost their way, James said.
The last straw for Comet was its sale by Kesa Electricals to private investment firm OpCapita for £2 earlier this year.
James told the Daily Telegraph that the deal didn’t have enough oomph behind it. There was not enough capital, will, desire or push.
Dixons reported a 3 per cent rise in sales for the 24 weeks to October 13 and the retailer is benefiting from improvements in customer service and support from suppliers, like Samsung, who are keen to use stores as a showcase. Six of the 15 computers endorsed by Microsoft to use its new Windows 8 operating system are being sold exclusively by Dixons.