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What does the Dixons Carphone Warehouse merger mean for the tech high street?

Posted by Kat Farminer on 15th May 2014

High StreetI can’t help but think ‘Dixons Warehouse PLC’ might have been a better name. After all, who has a physical carphone these days? Bluetooth link up, yes, big brick by the handbrake no.

Anyway, name semantics aside, today saw the day of the merger between Dixons and Carphone Warehouse finally being announced after a few months of speculation, further reducing the amount of consumer tech options in the UK. The shopping landscape has changed so much in recent years and I can’t help feeling a little bit sad as the options for physically browsing products continues to fall. I know the team behind the merger profess not to be closing stores, but the inner skeptic in me is slightly concerned for our high streets…

Recent research we commissioned as an agency shows that consumers still prefer to buy their tech in store, with this method topping the charts with 41% not so closely followed by 35% who chose to make purchases online via a desktop. Before the point of handing over the hard earned cash, we know consumers are now far more tech savvy with 56% trusting expert reviews in the media to inform their purchasing decisions. This is more than the 48% who trust their friends and family first and the 38% of those who would look for consumer reviews online.

With this in mind, the current lack of stores for us to test out products and hold them in our hands becomes pertinent (John Lewis, Dixons, Apple, Currys PC World, Maplin, Tesco, etc). I hope to see a shift in attention in the coming years with unknown or previously online only brands bucking the trend and opening stores on the high streets again. The rise of the pop up has been popular amongst fashionistas and foodies in recent years so maybe it is time for techies to follow suit.

Photo credit: webmink