Kesa has been proving more popular of late, thanks in part to stakebuilding by activist investor Knight Vinke and Comet’s project to differentiate and broaden its appeal
After Dixons’ update, attention in the electricals sector turns next to arch-rival Kesa, owner of the Comet chain in the UK, which updates on its first quarter on Thursday.
The Anglo-French group - which was seen as a bit pedestrian as Dixons was overhauled and Best Buy touched down in this country - has been proving more popular of late, thanks in part to stakebuilding by activist investor Knight Vinke.
But Kesa is also taking self-help measures. As we report this week, Comet has unveiled new branding and adopted the ‘Come and play’ tagline as part of its project to differentiate and broaden its appeal.
And in contrast to its competitors, Comet aims to leverage its typically mid-sized stores that set it apart from the big sheds. Although Dixons’ update was strong, some analysts do not believe that is necessarily bad news for Comet as the suspicion is that Argos-owner Home Retail has been the big loser in electrical goods.
The jury remains out on whether the measures under way at Kesa will transform performance, but the initiatives are evidence that nobody in UK electricals retail can take the market for granted.
Ocado digs in for long haul
“We welcome our new shareholders.” So said Ocado chief executive Tim Steiner as he issued the online grocer’s first update since listing. Whether shareholders feel so warm-hearted is another matter - their investment has been under water ever since the IPO.
Steiner has said consistently that Ocado should be seen as a medium- to long-term holding and, to his credit, he held on to his stake at the time of flotation in July.
Even so, with each week the pressure grows on Ocado to show that the online future belongs to it rather than Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda or - dare it be said - Waitrose.
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