Electricals group Dixons - which is readopting its original name and abandoning the DSGi moniker - is to launch an advertising campaign later this year in an attempt to change what it claims are outdated shopper perceptions.
The retailer has improved profits, stores and service as part of chief executive John Browett’s renewal and transformation programme.
However, some consumers remain unaware to the extent that the retailer has changed - particularly service standards, which are becoming ever more important as US giant Best Buy brings its ‘customer-centric’ approach to the UK.
Last month, a Which? survey claimed Dixons’ Currys chain was one of the worst shops for service in the UK. However, the retailer’s own mystery shopping showed that 87% of customers across the group were likely or very likely to recommend its stores to friends and family.
Browett said: “People remember you for how you were, not how you are. We want to get people up to date with where the business is.”
He added that a campaign is being developed at present and will debut later this year.
Dixons posted underlying pre-tax profit up 61% to £90.5m in the year to May 1, when underlying group sales advanced 4% to £8.53bn. Group like-for-likes rose 2% in the year and 6% in the second half.
Although Browett said the performance of Nordic operations was the “star of the show”, the UK and Ireland - driven by the electricals arm - generated a 21% uplift to £71.1m, as changes such as the opening of megastores, two-in-one Currys and PC World shops and other initiatives took hold.
Browett said that TV sales had been “very strong” going into the World Cup and Dixons had outperformed the market.
He pointed to the retailer’s deal with Apple to launch the iPad exclusively - with the exception of Apple’s own shops and rival Best Buy’s handful of UK stores - as evidence of how much suppliers like the remodelled stores “built as a showcase for product”.
Browett said the iPad had been a big footfall driver and maintained: “It was really part of our re-establishment as the place to come for cool technology.”