DSGi unveiled its highly anticipated Currys megastore format at Wednesbury, near Birmingham, last week.
The single-floor, 60,000 sq ft store, situated off junction 9 of the M6, is the UK’s biggest electricals store. It is divided by category with areas including Refrigeration, Cooking, Laundry, Accessories, and Vacuums.

Many of the store’s merchandising initiatives have been trialled in the smaller Swindon format, which opened in September (Retail Week, September 19), but the scale of the outlet sets it apart from the rest of the Currys portfolio. The move is an attempt by the electricals retailer to safeguard its position before US competitor Best Buy opens in the UK next year.

“This is a pilot store and we’ve got to trade it to see how it works,” said Currys director Andrew Milliken. “There’s a lot more density in this store, but the aim is that the aisles are kept completely clean so that you can see across the entire store.”

The store houses Apple and Microsoft Windows shop-in-shops, the latter of which is likely to be rolled out to other large Currys outlets. Other displays use branded point of sale and shopfits from product manufacturers, which have signed short-term agreements to buy in-store space.
At the store’s rear, the TV department consists of a 4m-high perimeter display with three rows of TVs in front of it, allowing more than 200 models to be shown.

The blueprint for the store was created by Dalziel + Pow. “The aim is for this to be an Ikea for electricals – you can find everything you might want in the category,” said duty manager Patrick Majchrowicz. If the format proves successful, there are plans for 20 to 30 more megastores.
As Retail Week went to press, DSGi was expected to reveal in its pre-close statement that chief executive John Browett’s “transformation and renewal” strategy for its store refurbishments was slightly ahead of plan.

By peak trading, the retailer is understood to have refitted 40 PC World stores – 25 per cent of the fascia’s portfolio – and 10 stores ahead of target. It will have also revamped seven Currys stores and four Currys.digital stores, and overhauled three of its Nordic stores, which provided the blueprint for the Currys megastore.