DSG International (DSGI), owner of the Currys, PC World and Dixons retail chains, is widely rumoured to be considering a rights issue to raise much-needed capital after a very poor Christmas trading period. Meanwhile Microsoft is branching out into retail.
DSGI's group’s chief executive - John Browett - is reportedly examining the balance sheet, considering renegotiating its banking covenants and addressing its precarious credit-rating. With net debt standing at £100m it announced its first loss (£61m) in 24 years in November of last year, which is making suppliers nervous.
Meanwhile, Microsoft is planning to open a global chain of company-branded shops in an attempt to challenge Apple's growing dominance of the consumer electronics market at a time when retailers like DSGI and others are struggling in the economic downturn.
The world's largest software company has hired David Porter, a former executive at DreamWorks Animation and Wal-Mart, to find a small number of suitable locations in selected major cities around the world. The outlets will be high profile "experience" stores, of a similar proposition to that of its rival, Apple.
The company plans to sell computers installed with Microsoft software and other products and promote the new operating system Windows 7 and updates of Windows Live and Windows Mobile.
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