Dixons has hit back at critics that claimed its prices were too high by issuing an independent report by consultants Arthur Andersen.
The survey looked at hardware pricing in the UK compared with six other European countries and the US. It concluded: "Within Europe there is no systematic tendency for the prices of electrical goods and PCs to be higher in the UK than the rest of Europe."
The report revealed that overall UK prices were five per cent lower throughout the 12 product categories surveyed. The pricing revealed the average UK PC cost was £802 compared with the US, £617; Spain, £626; Germany, £700; France, £822; Italy and Sweden, £899 and Belgium, £1,097.
Andersen claimed that the price anomalies were down to cultural differences in Europe. In the US, the lower prices were due to lower taxes and duties, lower product specifications and a larger economy of scale.
John Clare, chief executive of Dixons, said: "The study reinforces our view that UK consumers receive a good deal. Where there are price differences, they are attributable to national choices, the effects of tax and duty and the product cycle, or market size and maturity."
He added that the DTI had been briefed on the report.
Mike Godliman, director of Verdict Research, added: "Retailers have been under a lot of pressure about pricing, especially with the media campaign and government concern. When this started no retailer fought back, but this research does. It's a good move not only for Dixons, but the whole of the retail industry."
DTI FOCUS ON CONSUMERS
Stephen Byers, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, unveiled the DTI white paper Modern Markets: Confident Consumers on 22 July. It included the establishment of an internet hallmark and the publication of an international price comparison in January 2000, which will cover PCs and printers among the 100 products in the UK, France, Germany and the US surveyed.
The OFT, Trading standards and the courts will also receive increased powers to halt fraudsters both in the real and virtual world.
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