News MyTablet - Argos's foray into the budget tablet market

Online sales now represent almost half of all Argos' business

Dixons in £230m UniEuro takeover

Kalms in farewell swipe at the City

After half a century at the till, one of Britain's retail titans finally checks out

Sir Stanley Kalms grew Dixons from a photographic studio to biggest UK electrical chain

Granada and Radio Rentals forge pounds 1bn television link-up

GRANADA, THE hotels to media group, is to merge its television rental business with arch-rival Radio Rentals in a pounds 1bn joint venture certain to attract scrutiny from competition authorities.

Interview: Sir Stanley Kalms - Don't mess with Sir Stanley

HE HAS SHARES IN DIXONS WORTH pounds 30M. HE PAID HIMSELF pounds 809,000 LAST YEAR. HE HAS THE YACHT, THE HOUSES AND THE KNIGHTHOOD. WHAT MORE DOES SIR STANLEY KALMS WANT?

The Investment column: Kingfisher

GOOD NEWS has been thin on the ground on the high street recently but Kingfisher, the Woolworths-to-B&Q retailer, provided a rare shaft of light in the gloom yesterday.

Dixons moves into Europe with pounds 440m Norwegian buy

DIXONS GROUP, the electrical goods retailer that owns Currys, The Link and PC World, yesterday made its first move into continental Europe with a 5.7bn kroner (pounds 440m) acquisition of Elkjop, the Norwegian market leader.

New Media: Smile? The Co-op's online bank is enough to make you weep

I'VE BEEN hearing horror stories about Smile, the Co-op's attempt to beat Egg at the Internet banking game, since it launched about a month or so ago. So last week I decided to try and open up an account with Smile and see whether any of these stories were true. Unfortunately, they were.

Outlook: Sir Peter risks over-egging his case

SIR PETER DAVIS, chairman of Prudential Corporation, makes an unlikely Internet entrepreneur, but then so did Sir Stanley Kalms at Dixons, and just look at what Freeserve has done for him. Sir Peter's stab at the World Wide Web, Egg, is costing him quite a bit more than Freeserve cost Dixons - pounds 300m and rising - nor is it such a "pure" Internet play as Freeserve, as it combines now somewhat passe telephone banking with the more gee-whizz online operation.

Company of the week: Freeserve

FREESERVE, the UK's largest internet service provider, said it would offer online securities trading in Britain to take advantage of the rapid growth in investing over the internet, pitting itself against Charles Schwab, the world's biggest discount broker. The online brokerage service is a joint venture with California-based Global Net, a provider of online financial news and information; First Marathon, a Canadian broker, and Mesirow Financial, a Chicago-based firm that specialises in clearing trades. Freeserve's venture comes as the number of internet dealing accounts has increased five-fold to 50,000 from a year ago. Freeserve will compete with US leaders Schwab and E*Trade Group which started internet trading last month. "It's a thickly populated field," said Miles Saltiel, an analyst at WestLB Panmure. "Freeserve's advantage is that it has an awful lot of subscribers." Freeserve said the joint venture would take advantage of Mesirow's experience in clearing and executing trades. The online brokerage service will be linked to Freeserve's Money Channel, UK-iNvest.com, which is owned by GlobalNet. "We are pleased to be part of this rapidly growing revenue, generating business that will take advantage of access to more than 1.32 million active Freeserve accounts," John Pluthero, the company's chief executive, said.
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