Electricals group Dixons Retail, owner of the Currys aand PC World chains, declared itself the winner of the TV retail World Cup after the tournament helped lift sales.
The retailer posted a 3% increase in like-for-like sales in its first quarter, when sales of equivalent TVs soared 40% by volume compared with the previous World Cup in 2006. In the core UK market, comparable sales jumped 6%.
Chief executive John Browett described the performance in TVs as “remarkable” in the light of the changed economic circumstances between the two contests.The retailer also benefited from near exclusivity on the iPad launch.
Browett was dismissive of Best Buy’s effect so far. He said: “There was so much hype you’d have thought that customers’ heads would be turned. The reality is we’ve seen no impact.”
However, he was cautious about prospects and said: “We don’t see evidence for a double dip [recession] but we’re not seeing the demand you’d see in a normal economy.
Oriel analyst Jonathan Pritchard was confident that Dixons would maintain momentum. He said: “We do not subscribe to the consensus view that the UK consumer will go back underground, nor that Best Buy’s arrival is the death knell for Dixons’ domestic operations.”