The group’s trial of seven new formats over 61 stores delivered average gross profit uplifts above its 15 per cent benchmark and above 50 per cent in some cases compared with its peers.
Speaking at an investor day at its Currys Megastore in Birmingham, chief executive John Browett revealed the retailer will earmark capital expenditure of up to£320m to refurbish more than a third of its 570 stores by 2011. A second megastore will open later this year at New Malden, Surrey.
Working capital is to be improved through stock reduction and he has ring fenced£50m savings. He said the retailer had drawn down about£200m of its£400m debt facility. “The banks are very much supportive,” said Browett.
The turnaround of its Italian UniEuro division was on track, he said, and DSGi will minimise cash flow in Spain until the market recovers.
The group will update on its Central Europe business by the year-end, sparking speculation that it will announce a sale.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Best Buy Europe confirmed it would launch “a group” of stores by March 2010, pushing its debut into next year.
He said the decision did not reflect a weak environment or the performance of Best Buy’s US business, which recently issued a profit warning. He said that electricals customers did not just want a “revamp”. He added: “This is not a race to open a big box store. It is about revolutionising the UK consumer electricals market.”