THIS WEEK: Amstrad plans a return to retail

Amstrad is to go back on its pledge not to sell products through retailers and start selling its Dancall-branded telephone products through Dixons stores.

Amstrad is to go back on its pledge not to sell products through

retailers and start selling its Dancall-branded telephone products

through Dixons stores.

The move marks a U-turn for the troubled technology firm, which withdrew

its computer and fax machines from the retail sector in November 1994.

At the time the Amstrad chairman, Alan Sugar, said margins were being

badly squeezed in high-street retailers, and he relaunched Amstrad as a

direct sales firm. No Amstrad products have been sold through the retail

sector since.

An Amstrad spokesman confirmed Dancall mobile phone products would be

sold through Dixons, and suggested it could pave the way for further

products to be sold in the retail sector. However, he ruled out a return

to the high street for Amstrad’s Viglen PC business.

The reversal is intended to help turn around Amstrad’s pre-tax losses of

pounds 14.9m in the year to the end of June. The group had invested

pounds 10.7m in a restructuring of its Amstrad Consumer Electronics

business, but was hit by poor trading conditions in Europe. An abortive

takeover through Psion cost pounds 300,000.


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