Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/04/05/mastercare_dixons/

Mastercare to be folded into DSGi

Insiders fear job losses

By Tim Richardson

Posted in Financial News, 5th April 2006 11:28 GMT

Mastercare - the outfit that provides after sales service for customers of high street electrical retailers Dixons and Currys - is to be folded into its parent company DSGi.

DSGi, or Dixons as it used to be known, adopted Mastercare in 1984 when it bought Currys, the then owner of Mastercare. The firm has always been a standalone business, but now DSGi reckons it's time to bring it inhouse.

Staff at Mastercare, which employs around 1,000 workers, were told that the merger will save the company money, although execs have denied that the move will result in any job losses. Insiders have told El Reg they're not so sure.

A spokesman for DSGi confirmed the merger would take place by the end of April, since there is "no longer any commercial reason for Mastercare's activities to be undertaken through a distinct and separate legal entity".

"Dixons, Currys and PC World stores have all been brought within the main UK trading company, and this is simply a legal and logical move to fall in line with the group," he said.

To allay fears of job losses, he told us: "Whilst there will be efficiencies achieved in areas such as auditing and administration, there will be no noticeable impact of the merger upon the employees of Mastercare. We are conducting a full consultation process with our teams."

Earlier today, DSGi announced that it is deleting the Dixons name from British high streets. Instead, the stores will be rebranded as "Currys.digital" shops, starting in early May.

The Dixons brand will continue online as the retailer's ecommerce outlet. ®