Dixons Christmas trading fails to spark excitement

Growth at the electronics retailer rose by 3% over the Christmas period. It's not much to write home about.

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 28 Nov 2014

It’s been a tough few years for electrical retailer Dixons, but in 2013 things started to look up: in September, it got rid of Pixmania, the French chain which had been sapping it of its strength for several years; and in December, it posted figures showing profits had almost doubled, from £14m the year before to £30.2m in the six months to the end of October.

But what of the crucial Christmas trading period? The retailer posted figures this morning showing like-for-like growth had risen by 3% between the beginning of November and the beginning of January: 5% in the UK and Ireland and 2% in Northern Europe, with a (not unexpected, given the circumstances) 8% drop in Greece.

Sebastian James, the company’s chief executive, admitted that it wasn’t much to write home about.

‘In the UK and Ireland, "Black Friday" weekend was remarkably busy, but was followed by a somewhat quieter couple of weeks as we approached Christmas day,’ he said.

But it sounds like Dixons’ customers are among the scroogier of the nation’s shoppers: ‘From Boxing Day, the business took off like a rocket,’ he added. ‘In fact, Boxing Day itself was the biggest in Dixons’ UK history with more than £100,000 flowing through our tills every minute.’ Were customers waiting until the sales started to buy their Christmas presents? MT can but speculate…

Nevertheless, this time last year Dixons posted a 7% rise in sales - and that was despite the fact that it was still competing against Comet for much of the 12 week period. So the fact that it has managed to scrape together a mere 3% growth isn’t particularly encouraging. Now Dixons is the ‘last man standing’ in electronics retail, it has a lot to live up to.

Finance Retail

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