German computer giant Vobis is staging its most ambitious attempt yet to
grab a slice of the booming home computer market, launching a series of
own-brand computer stores in the UK backed by TV advertising.
Vobis, which is the largest computer retailer and manufacturer in
Europe, originally signed up with Dixons in 1993 to sell its PCs in
But its Highscreen range - which is a bestseller across Europe - was a
flop in Dixons and the deal was ended last August.
The firm then tried a series of ‘stores within a store’, with Vobis-
branded shops within Powerhouse shops.
Now the firm has been given a multi-million backing from its German
parents and is to buy a series of retail shops. It has set up a UK head
office and aims to have 200 Vobis-branded outlets by the end of 1996.
Shops will sell the Vobis Highscreen range and PCs from two other
manufacturers which have yet to be named. Vobis was not available for
The Vobis ad account has been given to Manchester’s The Agency, which
expects to spend pounds 1.5m during December on above- and below-the-
line work. TV advertising will launch early next year, although spend
for 1996 has yet to be determined. Media Centre in Manchester and Carat
Business in London will handle media.
Vobis is a late entrant. Its arch-rival in Germany is Escom, which began
its own-brand line of retail shops in 1983 and took over 230 ex-
Rumbelows sites last March.