As many as 200 may shut as Browett attempts to halt downturn, warns analyst

DSGi may close one-third of stores

DSGi may be forced to close as many as 200 of its UK stores after announcing that its profits were likely to be down as much as £50 million, a senior retail analyst has predicted.

Tony Shiret, Credit Suisse’s senior retail analyst, predicted that the group’s new chief executive, John Browett, may be forced to close nearly a third of its UK stores.

"Within the DSGi restructuring that we anticipate following the appointment of the new chief executive, we anticipate material UK store closures – possibly as many as 200 of the group’s 700 UK store base."

Shiret, however, was keen to stress that he believes that Browett is likely to continue to focus on the UK as DSGi’s key territory.

Although he cautioned that Browett’s plans are still largely unknown due to the limited length of time he has been at the firm, he did suggest that: "His main areas of focus are likely to include revitalising Italy, growing the focus on the internet and improving customer-service levels."

A spokeswoman for DSGi, however, dismissed the marks as "supposition," adding that: "It is speculation on Credit Suisse’s part."

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