DSGi has changed network supplier and signed a three-year deal with Azzurri Communications as part of a wider cost-cutting drive focused on stores.

The electricals group believes it can save a seven-figure sum over the life of the contract, as well as doubling bandwidth to stores in order to introduce new applications and services.

A year ago DSGi said that it intended to save £50m in its 2008/09 financial year, and more down the line, but that the initial focus would be its head office and supply chain.

DSGi retail support purchasing director Rob Douglas said that the deal was a great example of the work being done to review store support costs and that it would contribute towards the £50m savings.

Douglas said that the contract gives DSGi access to the best quality network connections, hardware and support, as Azzurri is a virtual network operator and is able to work with a variety of telecoms providers.

The doubling of bandwidth is already speeding up the EPoS system in stores where the new network is live. In addition, DSGi had requested the network be able to support video applications. This could allow it to stream content for product demonstrations to stores and use the network to deliver training and key messages to staff.

Stores with greater bandwidth requirements could even be scaled up to high-bandwidth ethernet connections from the DSL ones being put in place at present. Douglas said DSGi’s new multi-brand stores might benefit from this because they have many more technology concessions such as Apple and feature more product demonstrations.

DSGi is now 85 per cent of the way towards putting the network live through about 740 sites and the roll-out should be completed by the end of May.