3 The United Kingdom retail market for
household electrical goods
3.1. Both Kingfisher (primarily through its Comet outlets) and Dixons Group (through its Dixons
and Currys outlets) have a significant presence in the United Kingdom retail market for household
electrical and electronic goods. In this chapter we describe this market (henceforth referred to as the
retail market for electrical goods), and the significance of the Comet, Dixons and Currys chains in it.
We refer to Dixons Stores Group, operator of the Dixons and Currys chains, as DSG. Subsequent
references to Comet, Dixons or Currys are to the individual retail chains.
3.2. The chapter is in four broad sections:
—an outline of trends in retailing generally (paragraphs 3.3 to 3.7);
—a brief description of the main sources of supply of electrical goods (paragraphs 3.8 to
—the structure of the United Kingdom retail market for electrical goods (paragraphs 3.28 to
—a description of the relevant aspects of competition within this retail market (paragraphs
3.57 to 3.94).
The term `electrical goods' is often used to refer to a wide range of products, including light fittings
and light bulbs, electric pumps, electrical plugs, wiring or other accessories or fittings, and so on.
For the purposes of this inquiry we have taken it to encompass only the general range of domestic
electrical appliances which consumers might normally expect to be, or are, stocked by Dixons,
Currys, or Comet.
RETAILING IN THE UNITED KINGDOM
3.3. Retailers are usually the final stage in the complex process of distributing to consumers the
goods that they want to buy. Consumers rely on the retail trade to stock the enormous range of
products now marketed, to provide reliable information about them, to serve as a channel of
communication back to the supplier, and to act as the main source of redress in the event of defective
products. Retailers may also supply financial credit to potential consumers. Retailing takes a variety
of formats, including independent high