After closing 152 underperforming stores across Europe, retail behemoth DSG international (DSGi) aims to open 25 new megastores in the UK before Christmas.
The company has indicated its two-year portfolio review has been concluded, with a number of stores in Italy, Spain and the UK being chopped. Operations in Hungary and Poland were disposed of, while Finnish brand Markantolo and Sweden's PC City have also been excised. In total, DSGi has trimmed 152 stores across the continent since May 2008.
The firm claims its cost-saving drive will be successful to the tune of £50m in its current financial year, which ends on 1 May. DSGi expects to save the same amount in each of the three following years.
The firm's UK "store transformation programme" has so far seen 139 outlets reformatted, while 100 are set to be refurbished during the next financial year. The company currently has eight megastores and plans to open a further 25 by Christmas. Ultimately, DSGi plans to have 70, with 60 of those based at existing locations. This year the firm will also open 60 2-in-1 stores, incorporating both Currys and PC World. Twelve single-brand superstores are also to be reformatted.
Stores that were reformatted last year benefited from a three per cent like-for-like sales boost over the Christmas period, according DSGi. The company added that "second year trading remains strong" at the 17 reformatted more than a year ago. In the 24 weeks to 6 March, gross profit across all reformatted outlets increased by 20 per cent annually.
At the yet-to-be reformatted stores, DSGi claims like-for-like sales have grown by as much as five per cent on the back of increased staff knowledge and better customer service. More than 20,000 employees have undertaken training programmes in the past 18 months.
Chief executive John Browett said: "The renewal and transformation plan is making significant changes to the group and we have started to see the benefits of this work. The new store formats are popular with customers, particularly the megastores and the combined 2-in-1 stores.
"The next 12 months will be another busy period as we roll out the improved proposition and introduce more services to more of our customers with an unbeatable combination of value, choice and service."
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