Dixons boss says high street is in midst of seismic change

 
Kasmira Jefford
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DIXONS Retail’s chief executive yesterday warned that Britain’s high streets were undergoing “a seismic change” as the electricals group saw sales benefit from its rival Comet’s demise.

Sebastian James said it was “heartbreaking” to see great brands disappear from the high street.

He added that “the winners are those that can offer a great multi-channel offer” and admitted that if Dixons had not upped its game “[it] would be gone too”.

The retailer, which trades as Currys and PC World, said group like-for-like sales rose seven per cent in the 12 weeks to 5 January, while same store sales in the UK and Ireland jumped eight per cent in the period.

This was despite collapsed rival Comet launching a fire sale over the first eight weeks of the quarter.

James said the group sold “well over 1m tablets” in the period, three times as many as it did last year. More than five tablets a second were snapped up in the week before Christmas.

Dixons has a 19 per cent share of the electronics market. James said he expects this to increase by one or two percentage points this year on the back of rivals like Comet and Jessops closing down.