Britain’s largest electronics and electrical goods retailer, Dixons Stores Group, is actively seeking a pan-European media network to spearhead its planned expansion into mainland Europe.

The group currently spends over £96 million on UK advertising alone, spread across its 1,150-strong retail chains – Dixons, Currys, The Link and PC World – although little if any of this will be at ratecard prices. A legendarily tough buyer, DSG is currently embroiled in a rates stand-off with Rupert Murdoch’s national UK titles from which it has pulled all ads until the price is right [WAMN: 10-Aug-01].

With near saturation of the British market, DSG has been expanding aggressively into the rest of Europe over the past two years, establishing an e-commerce business branded PC City in France where it is also poised to open its first similarly-branded retail outlet. The group has also been on the acquisition trail in Spain, Scandinavia and Greece where it now operates chains in the DSG mould

Said a DSG spoke: “Europe presents a whole host of opportunities for increasing shareholder value and it is both prudent and commercially responsible to take the next steps into European expansion.”

The review does not affect DSG’s UK media account, currently with M&C Saatchi offshoot Walker Media, which is also conducting the European search, now narrowed to a shortlist.

News source: CampaignLive (UK)