Electrical store changes herald new design work

A major change in the concept of electrical stores is likely as retailers focus on multimedia and portable goods and head away from the high street, according to a research study.

Market predictions by Verdict Research suggests that the big electrical retailers are radically rethinking their product ranges, which will have implications on overall store design. “The shape of electrical retailing is undergoing a fundamental structural change,” says the report, called Verdict on electrical retailers.

And as smaller retailers are bought out, new store designs will be implemented. Escom, which has bought the Rumbelows outlets, “will redesign the stores’ interiors”, according to Verdict senior analyst Hilary Monk.

“Within a few years the vast majority of REC (regional electrical company) stores on the high street could disappear,” says the report. Those remaining will have to expand their range of goods to include multimedia equipment. “The REC’s mix [of products] will have to change in order for them to survive,” adds Monk.

Verdict believes that the regional electrical companies are likely to shift emphasis away from the high street to concentrate on out-of-town superstores. A spokesman for Scottish Power, which has bought Manweb, says: “We are increasingly looking to develop business in the retail parks.”

The Dixons Store Group is currently refitting certain stores with a new format which promotes a more simplified look with the same colour scheme throughout. The concept, called Dixons 2000, was designed in house and will be rolled out across 25 stores.

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