US superstore outfit CompUSA has admitted it is turning its attentions to the UK market, placing further pressure on the change of ownership among retailers.
The move comes a week after it was exclusively revealed that Choice Peripherals was in talks with US mail-order firm Insight Enterprises (PC Dealer, 11 March).
The US retailing giant, which has 149 stores, is looking to turn into an international operation. A CompUSA representative admitted it was looking at a move into Europe.
Kingfisher was at the centre of speculation last week, accused of plans to sell off the Woolworth and Superdrug chains to finance expansion in its electrical retail business - represented in the UK by Comet, - through further acquisitions.
The company denied it would sell off Woolworth and Superdrug, but refused to comment on acquisition plans.
There has also been speculation that Kingfisher and CompUSA had looked at Byte, SCC's retail arm, as a possible purchase. One industry insider suggested that Byte would offer 'a great entry into the retail market for a potential buyer as the infrastructure is already there.'
Clive Longbottom, analyst at Meta, said: 'Byte is the sort of thing that would suit the Kingfisher group well. It's a premium brand and could pick up business for the group. However CompUSA is looking for a European bridgehead and could easily outbid Kingfisher.'
Steven Rigby, operations director at Byte, hit back, saying: 'This rumour is old. There is no truth in it whatsoever. It really pisses me off.'
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