The CEO of Dixons, Sebastian James, has said that he sees no threat from the upcoming launch of electronics retailer Lewison’s.
Asked about the new venture from entrepreneur Clive Coombes, who had originally been trying to revive the Comet brand as ‘Meridian Comet’, James told PCR that he wished Coombes “the best of British luck”.
Coombes had mentioned in his proposal to investors that the new stores would focus on customer experience, by offering drinks to shoppers and having dedicated areas where they could play on games consoles.
James appeared to be sceptical of the idea, commenting that Coombes “wants to start a new retail sector in which he sells electricals and gives away free drinks, and there we go – we’ll see how it goes.”
Dixons itself is in the process of transforming its stores into fashion-inspired ‘stores of the future’, which aim to use technology and style to offer customers an enjoyable experience while shopping for electronics.
“We just want our stores to get better and better and better all the time, and I think any retailer that doesn’t do that is dead,” James explained.
“Customers have got much more discerning and much less inclined to leave the comfort of their own homes to go shopping unless you’ve got something to show them, and I think we’re done that here.”
Dixons took 30 per cent of Comet’s business when it closed in 2012, as well as “a dozen stores” and “1,000 full-time staff, with more at Christmas, and probably more than that by now”.
On Coombes’ return to the High Street, James said: “I’m not trembling in my boots.”
See the full interview with Sebastian James in PCR’s October issue, released on October 1st.