Dixons boss says company beat Best Buy fair and square

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The Independent Online

The chief executive of Dixons Retail has launched a scathing attack on the failed launch in this country of the US electricals giant Best Buy.

John Browett made his criticism as half-year losses at the owner of the Currys and PC World chains widened to £25.3m, dragged down by its operations in Greece and Italy.

Following Best Buy's recent decision to quit its 11 UK stores before Christmas, he said, "we beat them fair and square. Where we were up against them [in close proximity of stores] our sales were up two to three times compared with theirs".

Mr Browett added: "You could have added 20 per cent to their sales and they would still have closed. The issue was that they never got the offer right for the UK consumer."

Dixons Retail posted a pre-tax loss of £25.3m for the 24 weeks to 15 October, compared with a loss of £6.9m the previous year. Total sales at Dixons Retail rose by 1 per cent to £3.29bn, supported by strong performances in Turkey, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Turkey.

In the UK and Ireland, the group slashed its losses to £3.7m from £10.7m, driven by cost savings.

Mr Browett said sales of washing machines, the rapper Dr Dre headphones, laptops and iPad 2 had "held up", but it had suffered "particularly weak" demand for its lower-priced TVs. But he said next year's Olympics was likely to give its TV sales a bigger boost than the 2010 football World Cup.