Analysts have predicted that Dixons' free internet operation,ted. Freeserve, could be floated, as a result of the retail restructuring into five business units.
As part of a wide-reaching restructure, Dixons has created three business units for its existing retail outlets: Currys, PC World - which includes PC World Business Direct Mail - and Dixons, which also has responsibility for its software chain @Jakarta, Link mobile stores and airport stores.
The group has also developed two additional business units. One is focused on Freeserve, the other, Dixons Group Retail Property, is to manage its property portfolio.
John Clare, chief executive of Dixons, said: 'We operate a highly competitive market and our core retail brands face broadening competition. It is vital for our future that the brands are best positioned to exploit opportunities.'
Analysts estimated that Freeserve was worth a quarter of the high street giant's total value - at #1 billion - and healthy enough to go it alone.
Nick Gibson, analyst at Durlacher, said that since its launch in September 1998: 'Freeserve has been the key driving force for Dixons' share price. It could be spun off and be very profitable.'
Adam Daum, analyst at Inteco, said: 'Dixons didn't know what would happen with Freeserve, but it blew up in its face and has been far more successful than predicted. The dilemma is whether to float it off and make a billion or to keep it, because it may be worth #10 billion eventually.'
The maturing UK internet market has led to an influx of high street retailers into cyberspace, the latest being Tiny, which launched its e-commerce site last week. A representative for Tiny said: 'We didn't launch in a big way because we wanted to check it was working fine. We've already had a handful of orders.'
Gibson added: 'The trouble is that lots of UK retailers' Websites look appalling and are impossible to navigate.'
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