Media: Lifeline - Dixons

The chain is withdrawing from the high street, with all of its stores to be rebranded as

1978: Having opened in 1937 as a modest photographic studio in Southend, by the 50s Dixons is the biggest photographic dealer chain in the UK - and its subsequent diversification into consumer electronics bears fruit in the late 70s with a boom in the sales of video recorders and Sony Walkmans.

1997: Having expanded into one of the UK's largest retail groups by buying the Currys white-goods chain, Dixons Stores Group becomes one of the first "bricks and mortar" retailers to embrace the internet when it begins selling goods through its site.

1998: Dixons has been at the forefront of the boom in PC sales. Now it seeks to leverage that position even further by launching an internet service provider called Freeserve. It is a popular product - there is no subscription charge - and, because the company is able to give away connection software at all of its stores, it has frontline access to a new generation of PC users.

2004: Dixons soon bails out of the ISP market, selling Freeserve to its French counterpart, Wanadoo, in 2000. There is no doubting its commitment to a hi-tech future, however, as it starts phasing out "redundant technologies" such as film cameras and video recorders.

2006: Dixons Stores Group's chief executive, John Clare, announces the Dixons brand will disappear from the high street and be used solely for online trading. All 190 existing Dixons stores will be rebranded The move will cost £7 million but will deliver an estimated annual saving of £3 million.

Fast forward: 2010: Having been overtaken by online suppliers such as Dell, which have better links with manufacturers, Dixons has been losing market share for years. Now it looks for added-value opportunities and launches digital software and file-sharing services. It also looks at opening a chain of digital photography studios aimed at the keen amateur photographer.