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Retailer News

Saturn Exits the Netherlands

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Saturn Exits the Netherlands

Media-Saturn Holding announces its two-brand strategy is not working in the Netherlands, and thus it will drop the Saturn brand from the Dutch market and rebrand all Saturn outlets to Media Markt.

"Considering this strategy, Saturn does not distinguish itself enough and the two-brand strategy is not enough of an added value for the customer," the retailer says. "We will have more focus, speed and power if we choose the largest and stronger consumer electronics brand and we can invest more in customer-focused innovations with the money this move saves."

Saturn stores in the Netherlands total around 30. All will be rebranded as Media Markt, and jobs will be cut.

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WSJ: Best Buy Considers China Exit

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WSJ: Best Buy Considers China Exit

Best Buy is considering sale or partnership for its Chinese operations the Wall Street Journal reports, as the retailer is looking to increase focus further on its home US.

Analysts suggest the Best Buy's Chinese operations-- namely Five Star and Best Buy Mobile-- are worth up to $300 million. The retailer already closed some large-format Five Star outlets this year, and its Chinese store count clocks at 190.

Why would Best Buy want to exit the most populous country in the world, though? The WSJ cites tough online competition hurting international division sales, (un)surprisingly enough.

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Apple Opens 101st European Store

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Apple Opens 101st European Store

21 June saw Apple open its 101st European Store at #1 Puerta del Sol, Madrid-- the 11th in the country and possibly the first in the world built on top of a 14th century hospital.

Apple found the remains of the mediaeval Buen Suceso hospital during its refurbishing of the Puerta del Sol site on October 2013, a discovery that caused months-long delays to the to construction.

The hospital was originally demolished together with a church sharing the Buen Suceso name on 1845 to make space for the famous square. The remains now make a striking briefing room in the outlet's basement.

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EE To Pull Out of CPW?

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EE To Pull Out of CPW?

The Telegraph reports mobile operator EE sets to pull out of its retail relationship with Carphone Warehouse, a move potentially threatening to the £3.4 billion CPW-Dixons "merger of equals."

As the newspaper puts it the operator is soon concluding a consumer retail strategy review-- one with a complete withdrawal from CPW is a potential result. The review also covers CPW rival Phones4U, and a similar conclusion could also be a result.

However EE refutes the story, telling PC Pro the Telegraph article is an "inaccurate extrapolation" from an earlier announcement, even if it also stresses the review has not reached any decision as yet.

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Dixons Sells Off C. European Operations

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Dixons Sells Off C. European Operations

Following its recent Carphone Warehouse merger Dixons sells off its C. European ElectroWorld operations to NAY, another CE specialist retailer in the region.

The asking price for the 26-store chain spread across the Czech Republic and Slovakia? A "small deferred cash consideration" payable over the next 3 years. However the operation was not going too well, having lost £5.6 million in the fiscal year ending April 2014.

"I am very pleased that we have been able to secure a strong future for Electroworld who will be able to flourish as a part of the NAY Group in Central Europe," Dixons CEO Sebastian James says. "Following this transaction Dixons will be a market leader in every market in which it operates, delivering on one of our key strategic objectives."

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Dixons, Carphone Warehouse Agree on Merger

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Dixons, Carphone Warehouse Agree on Merger

Dixons and Carphone Warehouse reach an agreement on the merger first announced back in February 2014-- a deal bringing together two of the biggest retailers in the UK into a single a company worth around £3.4 billion.

This so-called "merger of equals" creates "Dixons Carphone", a mega-retailer with 3000 stores (across Currys, PC World and CPW outlets) and combined sales of nearly £11 billion. Each retailer owns 50% of the combined entity, and as a result every Dixons store will start housing a CPW outlet.

As for leadership, CPW chairman Sir Charles Dunstone chairs a 14-strong Dixons Carphone board, with Dixons CEO Sebastian James as CEO and CPW CEO Andrew Harrison as deputy CEO.

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Horst Norberg Media-Saturn CEO No More

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Horst Norberg Media-Saturn CEO No More

Media-Saturn CEO Horst Norberg throws the towel after 27 years at the company due to feeling he no longer has the full support of the entire Metro ownership.

"It is for this reason that I have decided to resign from my post and make way for a new manager who can join forces with all our colleagues to lead Media-Saturn to a successful future," Norberg says.

Replacing Norberg in the in the interim is board member Pieter Haas.

Norberg joined Media-Saturn in 1987 as managing director of Media Markt stores in Braunscheig and Mülheim, before promotion to the Saturn management board. He became Saturn COO in 2001 and took over the retailer as CEO in 2011 on a contract running until end 2015.

The most recent Media-Saturn leadership decision taken by Norberg involves a "comprehensive strategic and structural reorientation with the aim of becoming a truly multichannel retailer."

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The Darty Plan to Boost Market Share

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The Darty Plan to Boost Market Share

Darty CEO Regis Schultz tells Bloomberg his plan to boost the retailer's market share by around 33% in its home France-- opening as many as 150 "mom and pop" stores in small towns.

“One of the things we are doing is trying to grow this market share by going into small towns,” Schulz says. “Our market share is about 20% in big towns, but we have no presence in small towns and we tend not to be in those type of catchment areas.”

Making these small Darty stores are independent businesses turned franchisees. According to Bloomberg 4 such outlets are open after first starting business last month.

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Retailers Find Low-Cost Tablet Success

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Retailers Find Low-Cost Tablet Success

Non-CE retailers find success with own-brand low-cost tablets-- Tesco says its Hudl tablet sold well enough to merit a sequel, while Aldi recently relaunched the sold out Lifetab tablet.

Tesco launched the first Hudl back in September 2013. A Kindle Fire-esque 7-inch number with budget specs (including a 1.5GHz CPU and a 1440x900 display), Tesco says fiscal 2013 sales total 500000 units.

"It was recently named winner of the "ReThink Retail Technology Initiative of the Year" and we plan to launch a second device later this year," the retailer remarks in its 2013-2014 results report.

While some Tesco outlets carry the Hudl and some CE items, the retailer officially retired from computing sale back in August 2013.

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