Dixons seeks media network to oversee European push

Dixons Group, the electrical retailer that spends more than £96 million on advertising in the UK alone, is hunting for a media

network to handle its growing European business.

Walker Media, which has the media account in the UK, is overseeing the

review, which does not include the UK account. A number of pan-European

agencies have already been shortlisted.

Dixons Group, which has 1,150 stores in the UK including PC World,

Currys and The Link, has been aggressively expanding its European

operations over the past two years.

Most recently, it launched an e-commerce business based in France called

PC City and plans to open its first shop under the brand in France in

the near future. It has also rebranded shops under the PC City brand in

Spain, following its £11.8 million acquisition of the Spanish

electrical retailer Ei System Computer in January 2000.

Dixons also bought the Scandinavian chain Elkjop for £444 million

in December 1999 and the Danish out-of-town retailer Super Radio earlier

this year. In April 2000, Dixons secured a 15 per cent stake in the

leading Greek electrical retailer Kotsovolos in a £44 million

share swap deal.

A Dixons spokesman had no information about the media review as Campaign

went to press. But he said the retailer was planning to continue its

European expansion plans.

"Europe presents a whole host of opportunities for increasing

shareholder value and it is both prudent and commercially responsible to

take the next steps into European expansion," he said.

Christine Walker, a partner at Walker Media, was unavailable for comment

as Campaign went to press.