Mergers frequently have a habit of failing to deliver the promised benefits, but not Dixons Carphone.
Much-vaunted synergies get bogged down in treacly integration processes, culture clashes force managers to take their eyes off the commercial ball and unexpected nasties crawl out of the corporate woodwork.
However Dixons Carphone, created last year when the electricals giant and mobiles specialist tied up, seems to have avoided the traditional pitfalls.
Having already signalled synergies ahead of plan, Dixons Carphone celebrated a happy Christmas as it successfully navigated “roller-coaster” conditions sparked by Black Friday.
There was plenty of scepticism at the time of the retailers’ merger.
The pairing was portrayed in some quarters as a sign of weakness rather than strength.
The foundation on which it was built, the idea of an increasingly connected word, was dismissed as airy-fairy.
But there’s no arguing with the numbers. Like-for-likes rose at Christmas, margin was held and profits should come in ahead of consensus.
Not all retailers operate on a vision of the future like Dixons Carphone’s, but the retailer’s success holds perhaps one general lesson – the importance of executional excellence.
From top to bottom Dixons Carphone shares a common sense of purpose and its strategy is successfully enacted where it really matters - on the shopfloor.
A few years ago stores were seen as one of Dixons’ weaknesses. Today they have been turned to competitive advantage and made relevant to changing shopping habits – an inspiration to others still finding their way in uncertain times.
Dixons Carphone Christmas sales rise in 'roller coaster' trading period
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Comment: Dixons Carphone shows the way in adapting to changing shopper habits