Dixons looks to shake up UK advertising as sales rise

Rising sales and market share gains are causing Dixons to rethink its advertising strategy to ensure its marketing message reflects the shift to multi-channel and e-commerce.

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A Dixons spokesman says that now is a “good time” to review the UK ad account to ensure it is on top of new trends not only in electronics retail, but the wider industry.

“We want to take advantage of new ideas and thinking. The advertising agency pitch will ensure that we are working with the right creative and strategic partner to drive long-term business growth.”

M&C Saatchi has been responsible for Dixons’ UK ad account for the past 25 years. It creates campaigns for consumer brands including Currys and PC World, as well as its support service Knowhow.

But Dixons now plans to invite six to eight rival agencies to submit credentials, picking three of them to go up against M&C Saatchi at a strategic pitch stage. Two will then be chosen for a final creative pitch in a process that could last up to four months.

The review comes as Dixons’ posts positive financial results, with like-for-like sales up by a sector-beating 6 per cent across its UK and Ireland business. The firm continues to grow sales and share across Northern Europe and in its home market in the face of difficult conditions on the high street and challenges for electronics retailers in particular due to the unseasonably hot July.

Conlumino retail consultant, Liz Faulkner, says: “Dixons has maintained momentum, posting a good set of first quarter results against tough comparatives and unfavourable weather patterns across Europe.”

In fact, these good results are what prompted the review, with Dixons keen to identify potential alternatives to M&C Saatchi that can provide new and creative ways to maintain this growth in the long term. The firm is open to new opportunities, hoping that the review will highlight how best to reach consumers in the future.

The financial results and account review also highlight how Dixons wants to make the most of its brand strength across the UK and Northern Europe, with the firm moving to offload less valuable assets.

It is selling PIXmania, paying German industrial group Mutares £58m to take the loss-making e-commerce business off its hands. Another of its loss-making operations, the Turkish ElectroWorld, is also being sold to rival Bimeks for £2m over two years.

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