Articles about Dabs


Dabs warns staff: Your roles are 'at risk of redundancy' has notified a significant number of sales staff that their roles have been placed at risk of redundancy. The move at the etailer follows sweeping changes that parent company BT made last year as it merged its three reseller businesses under the leadership of John Thornhill and laid off some workers including senior …
Paul Kunert, 06 Mar 2012
channel says sorry for delivery debacle has apologised to customers for months of delivery delays following the replacement of its back-end purchasing systems. The BT-owned online reseller dragged itself into the 21st century by replacing its DEC Alpha monster - running software reputedly designed by founder and previous owner Dave Atherton - with one running …
Paul Kunert, 24 Jun 2011

BT Engage IT to merge with and Biz Direct

BT Engage IT chief executive Martin Balaam is stepping down as part of a re-organisation that will see the telco-owned reseller merge with BT's Business Direct and operations. The consolidated firm, which BT claims will have a turnover of £400m, is to be managed by John Thornhill, currently the boss of BT Business Direct …
Paul Kunert, 07 Sep 2011

BT axes 20 jobs at

BT has laid off 20 staff at the e-tailer's Bolton warehouse. The online electrical retailer told employees about the latest round of job cuts yesterday morning. A spokesman confirmed it had axed jobs to The Register "We regularly review our organisation to ensure we are efficiently organised to deliver the …
Kelly Fiveash, 26 Jun 2009
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Dabs founder Atherton cleared of rape charges

David Atherton, founder of which he sold to BT in 2006, has been acquitted of rape charges at Leeds Crown Court. Atherton, 51, said he was considering legal action against the woman who made the allegations. But he also said the case had probably saved his life. After being charged in August with rape and possession of …
John Oates, 06 May 2009
The Register breaking news

Dibble gets mobile dabs checker

All English and Welsh police forces are getting mobile fingerprint scanners following controversial trials of the tech by several police forces. The gadgets, from Cogent Systems, have been trialled by 28 forces using 330 devices - this ends in the summer when the new devices will be sent out. A friendly Bobby takes a young lad' …
John Oates, 05 Mar 2010
cloud founder accused of attempted rape, drugs offences

The founder of, David Atherton, has been charged with attempted rape and possession of Class A drugs. Atherton, who sold his business to BT in April 2006 for £30m, is in custody after appearing in court in Bolton earlier this week. A spokesman for Manchester Police said: "A 50-year-old man has been charged after a …
John Oates, 21 Aug 2008

Dabs founder released on £10m bail

David Atherton, the founder of who is charged with attempted rape and drugs offences, has been released on £10m bail surety. Atherton, 50, is checking into a Priory clinic in Cheshire, "where he has been ordered to follow an in-patient programme for one month", the Bolton News reports. He will then have to report to the …
Team Register, 24 Aug 2008
arrow pointing up courier goes titsup

Online retailer has told customers to hang fire for a few days while orders due to be delivered by Amtrak are reassigned to another courier. Netfold Ltd, trading as Amtrak, went into administration last Friday (22 August). It’s the second time in two years that the company has ceased trading. The Aldridge, West …
Kelly Fiveash, 28 Aug 2008

David Atherton: 'I don't miss Dabs'

Interview Part 1 This is part one of a two-part interview with Dabs founder and channel legend David Atherton, which we ran earlier this year. We enjoyed it so much, we thought we'd highlight it again, in case anyone missed it first time round. Part two is here. “I logged on to my bank account on about 3 May 2006, and found there was £24m in it …
Robert Blincoe, 03 Mar 2010

BT buys

BT is to flog computers, TVs, cameras, and other digital gear after it announced today that it has bought The deal follows weeks of speculation that was on the block. However, the identity of the successful bidder will come as a big surprise to many in the channel. The giant telco said the deal was designed …
Team Register, 28 Apr 2006
lacie safe biometric hard drive

Forget silly privacy worries - help biometrics firms make MILLIONS

Tech firms are set to experience a biometric bonanza - as long as they can persuade ordinary folk to give up worrying about their privacy. That's the claim in a briefing note from “growth consulting firm” Frost & Sullivan, which suggested the number of smartphones equipped with biometric gubbins will soar from 43 million to 471 …
Jasper Hamill, 10 Sep 2014
The Register breaking news

Jacqui Smith prints seized by No2ID in daring dabs grab

The Home Secretary's fingerprints are missing, and being held by No2ID at an undisclosed location. Earlier today, No2ID General Secretary Guy Herbert told The Register, a water glass thought to have Jacqui Smith's fingerprints on it was 'borrowed' from a Social Market Foundation event where Smith was speaking. And, improbably …
John Lettice, 06 Nov 2008
The Register breaking news

Dabs gets dabs on Camino mobo

A report on HardOCP says that Dabs Direct is advertising an Abit Camino i820 motherboard in the UK. That lends further credence to stories we have already written suggesting that the Camino chipset will arrive earlier than expected. According to the report, the mobo is PC99 compliant with no ISA sockets, uses a Slot One …
Mike Magee, 24 Aug 1999
The Register breaking news buys French reseller is dipping its toes overseas with the cash purchase of SOS Developers, a French B2B software reseller. The online PC retailer will pay up to €8m, funded out of its cash resources, for the reseller, but there's an unspecified, both in time and amount, earn-out element. According to, SOS Developers turns over € …
Drew Cullen, 23 Jan 2003
The Register breaking news pushes into corporate market, the Bolton-based direct reseller, is gunning for more corporate business through a new outbound telesales division. dabs already sells to businesses through a corporate sales team, but most of its customers - it claims half a million registered shoppers - are end-users buying off the Internet site. The company says …
Drew Cullen, 17 May 2002

BT merges iNet and Engage IT divisions under one roof

BT has slapped together the IT Engage and iNet businesses from today, April Fools' Day, but the move is no laughing matter for staff put at risk of redundancy. The telco had merged the dabs, Business Direct and Engage IT operations back in 2011, plonking long-serving exec John Thornhill into the boss seat to oversee integration …
Paul Kunert, 01 Apr 2014
globalisation in £500k makeover

Online retailer is revamping its website in a bid to increase the number of visitors who actually make purchases after visiting the site. It hopes to boost its conversion rate by up to 50 per cent and increase the value of sales by improving the site's search and navigation features using technology from software …
John Leyden, 02 Sep 2005
Flipside RFID-shielded wallet

Your security is just dandy, Apple Pay, but here comes Android

Analysis Most security experts estimate that the security offered within (and by) Apple Pay is superior to that seen in existing contactless credit or debit card systems. However, the success of the technology in the UK may well depend more on commercial factors than anything else, with one payments expert warning that merchants fees …
John Leyden, 16 Jul 2015

Spare external hard drives gathering dust? Share your stuff with fellow cloud fear types

California-based Connected Data’s Transporter, which turns an external disk into a private cloud for your devices, is helping you hook up with your like-minded friends. It now links to other Transporters so you can set up your own private cloud for your friends, relatives and/or business colleagues. The new capability is limited …
Chris Mellor, 31 Oct 2013
The Register breaking news opens vISP doors, the UK online IT reseller, has set up a virtual ISP service, courtesy of Affinity Internet. It's kicking off with three plans: netspeed: self-install ADSL at £27.99 per month netinfinity: Fixed cost, "all-the-time" access at £15.99 per month (fair usage applies) netdial: subs-free, pay for local rate calls …
Drew Cullen, 30 Aug 2002
The Register breaking news

MyDoom dabs spotted on mega cyberassault

An updated version of the MyDoom worm is blamed for ongoing denial of service attack against high-profile US and South Korean websites, according to preliminary analysis. Korean anti-virus firm AhnLab reckons that cyberattacks against the US Department of the Treasury and Federal Trade Commission (among others) stem from an …
John Leyden, 08 Jul 2009
The Register breaking news

Dabs fingers Web for sales boost

Dabs Direct has netted its first £1 million sales from a single month's trading on its Dabs Online Web site. The Bolton-based reseller has 23,000 registered users on the e-commerce site, and claims sales are growing at over 50 per cent per month. Started on 12 February, over half of the company's consumer sales business now …
Linda Harrison, 28 Jul 1999
The Register breaking news rings up Xmas sales

Online retailer enjoyed a bumper festive season with sales up 26 per cent in Xmas 2003 compared to the same period in 2002. The number of orders processed also increased last Christmas. In November and December 2003, recorded total sales of £30.47 million compared to £24.1 million for the same period …
John Leyden, 21 Jan 2004
The Register breaking news claims record Xmas

David Atherton, owner of online computer retailer, is talking again of IPO, after record Christmas sales, The Sunday Telegraph reports. The Bolton-based firm reported Christmas sales of £7.5 million, of which £4.5 million were "unassisted Internet sales". Dabs reported Christmas sales of £6.8 million in 1999. Based on …
Drew Cullen, 08 Jan 2001
George Bush in Game of Thrones

V. R. R. Stob's magnificent saga A Game Of Dog-and-Bones

Stob Laud Satya Nadella stood at the leaded casement of his garret, contemplating the ominous, brooding sky to the south. The flag over the Maeiouster's Hub Complex barely stirred in the still air, so that he could not only see the sigil of his once-proud house - gules and vert oblongs accroupis sur a respectant brace, azure dexter …
Verity Stob, 18 Dec 2014
The Register breaking news owner goes on TV

David Atherton, the founder of, is launching his own interactive shopping channel on digital TV. Technology TV goes live from 18 October on the Sky platform. The station claims an equal divide between editorial and interactive sales programmes. It hopes to tempt viewers looking to learn about new technology and …
John Oates, 26 Jul 2004
The Register breaking news fined £8k for recycling failure has been fined £8,000 for failure to comply with recycling rules designed to cut the amount of packaging waste. The Bolton-based online computer retailer pleaded guilty to eight offences under Producer Responsibility Regulations 1997. Under UK law, companies handling "significant amounts of packaging with a sufficient …
Drew Cullen, 04 Dec 2002
The Register breaking news

Dabs Direct preps IPO with dotcom namechange

IT mail order company Dabs Direct is to change its name to next month in preparation for an IPO by the end of the year. Dabs MD David Atherton is not yet sure how much of the Bolton-based company to float, but said he would expect 20 per cent of the business to fetch around £20 million. He plans to invest part of the …
Linda Harrison, 04 May 2000
graph up

Man logs into customer account shocker

Blind chance has helped to expose a password security issue at over the way it and many other online retailers deal with forgotten passwords. Reg reader Dave (not his real name) recently received emails from about an order he'd supposedly placed for a digital camera. He received a receipt and despatch …
John Leyden, 18 Aug 2005

BT to swing axe at sales account managers – sources

Staff at BT Engage IT are bracing themselves for further redundancies amid talk of a shift away from traditional reselling to managed services. The reseller arm of the telco giant merged its disparate brands last autumn, laying off a number of staff in the process including chief operating officer Chris Leigh and former bigwig …
Paul Kunert, 30 Apr 2012
The Register breaking news

Chopped cable knocks off the web

"Could you please tell everybody my web site is down?" This is not ordinarily the kind of request you get from the boss of a giant online reselling outfit, but it is precisely what CEO Dave Atherton just asked us, and we are happy to oblige. He has, after all the HP Halloween Ball to attend tonight (another one of those …
John Lettice, 25 Oct 2002
The Register breaking news profits double today announced pre-tax profits of £5.1m, doubling 2002's £2:5m, on sales advancing 30 per cent to £152m (2002: £117m) for the year to March 31, 2003. The company claims its operational efficiency was instrumental in "enabling it to maintain its high level of customer satisfaction whilst offering competitive pricing …
Drew Cullen, 14 Jul 2003
The Register breaking news and Time bow to OFT pressure and Time Computers have agreed to stop using misleading ads for interest-free credit. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) won the assurances as part of an ongoing campaign to crack down on companies it believes could be in breach of consumer law. In particular, it was unhappy with Time Computers and which were …
Tim Richardson, 12 Sep 2002
The Register breaking news offers free online credit

Online retailer is offering its customers interest free online financing for any purchase over the value of £500. The site teamed up with Halifax-Cetelem to create an online finance approval process. Check-out with more than £500 of goods, choose the interest free finance payment option, fill in your details, wait …
James Watson, 29 Nov 2001
The Register breaking news

Dabs in super DVD give-away scheme…

The perils of Web marketing seem now to have hit Dabs Direct, the supersoaraway sale site. If you turn your browser to this address, you'll see a spectacular offer on the 4.8x DVD IDE OEM (manufacturer code: 2000 00 1312). If you pay VAT, the Creative DVD drive will cost you a penny. But if you don't have to pay value added tax …
Mike Magee, 14 Nov 1999
The Register breaking news threatens legal action over its own pricing cock-up is threatening legal action against an Irish IT firm after it bought a stack of mispriced goods from the computer etailer. Point to Point IT Ltd - based in Buncrana, Co. Donegal - bought almost 30 items from the "Clearance Corner" on the site. Adam Porter, of Point to Point told us: "We found a number of …
Tim Richardson, 11 Jun 2004
The Register breaking news

Dabs makes £1.2m loss

Online IT retailer made a pretax loss of £1.2 million on sales of £86 million for the year ending 31 March 2000. This is the first time the company has turned in a loss in thirteen years of trading. The sales were it's highest ever. MD David Atherton said management accounts for the half year to 30 September 2000 are …
Robert Blincoe, 05 Feb 2001
The Register breaking news

Bakers dozen win Dabs Eggsbox pricing row

UK etailer has changed its mind and decided to honour the sale of mispriced Xbox bundles. Dabs' change of heart coincides with the launch of the new games system in the UK and should ensure that this important launch is not soured by a row with angry consumers. On Tuesday, The Register reported how 13 people took up …
Tim Richardson, 14 Mar 2002
arrow pointing up

BT Engage IT's big cheese shown the door

The chief operating officer at BT Engage IT has been handed his pink slip as part of the planned redundancies at the reseller giant, The Reg understands. The telco giant is integrating its three reseller businesses including BT Engage – comprising the Basilica and Lynx Technology acquisitions – the Business Direct brand (dabs. …
Paul Kunert, 23 Nov 2011

Buy IT Direct: Sales up by a third, but IT kit NOT behind boom

Buy IT Direct, one of the last major independent tech e-tailers of size, pushed up turnover by more than a third in '13 but told us demand for kitchen appliances and baby products were largely behind the bounce. Revenues for the Huddersfield-based online trader climbed 34 per cent to £93.4m in the year to 31 March 2013, …
Paul Kunert, 12 Feb 2014
Drobo MIni hand-held

Drobo tarts up storage boxen: Now they're APP SERVER platforms

External storage box-maker Drobo has turned its 5N desktop filer/shared network storage array into an app platform, with supported apps running on the 5N's controller. Drobo makes simple-to-use, stylish and scalable file storage and sharing boxes which protect the data within and require little management by consumers, pro- …
Chris Mellor, 17 Dec 2013
The Register breaking news

Dabs scores Xbox web-pricing own goal

As the UK braces itself for the eagerly anticipated launch of Microsoft's Xbox games console on Thursday, some gamers are feeling cheated after their orders were rejected by etailer Giles Essame from Milton Keynes and Matthew Coleman, from Northampton are among 13 people who took up Dabs' offer of an Xbox Ultimate …
Tim Richardson, 12 Mar 2002
The Register breaking news

Chubby crims more likely to leave dabs

Obese criminals are more likely to leave their fingerprints at crime scenes because of the amount of salty food they eat. A police boffin has developed a new way of examining the corrosion on bullet casings and knife blades that is caused by minuscule amounts of salt in hand sweat, according to the Daily Telegraph. Dr John Bond …
Kelly Fiveash, 05 Sep 2008

BT Engage IT overlord Thornhill slips off

BT Engage IT CEO John Thornhill is leaving the organisation after less than a year in the role, The Channel can reveal. Thornhill was head honcho of BT Business Direct and, until last September when the two businesses merged with BT Engage IT and he was made overlord of the group He then oversaw restructuring activity …
Paul Kunert, 20 Jul 2012
The Register breaking news

Which? scheme has channel's Dabs all over it

Dabs Direct has become the latest channel addition to the Which? Web Trader scheme. The Bolton-based reseller joins Simply Computers and Evesham Micros in supporting this code of practice for online businesses. (See earlier story) The initiative, set up last week, has 22 companies involved in the scheme, involving businesses …
Linda Harrison, 29 Jun 1999
The Register breaking news

Dabs Direct also jumps gun on Intel Coppermines

Online site Dabs Direct has pre-empted Intel's expected announcement of a raft of Coppermine microprocessors this coming Monday by offering them for sale two days early. That follows our story yesterday, when we revealed that UK PC company Mesh was offering systems using the .18 micron processors. Thanks to James Stormont, a …
Mike Magee, 23 Oct 1999
fingers pointing at man

BT axes staff amid reseller biz shake-up

BT is making a round of redundancies amid the integration of its three reseller operations – Engage IT, Business Direct and – and has parted with former bigwig Martin Balaam. The circa £400m turnover supplier insists that only 20 positions are to go where there is an overlap: IT, logistics and pre and specialist sales …
Paul Kunert, 15 Nov 2011
The Register breaking news boasts record sales, orders, the UK online IT reseller, posted record profits and sales for the year to 31 March, 2002. The privately-held firm posted profit before tax (PBT) of £2.54m, up 237 per cent on 2001's £755,000 on sales advancing 11 per cent to £116.5m (2001: £104.4m). The profits boost has worked out nicely for David Atherton, …
Drew Cullen, 17 Jun 2002

More BT heads roll amid biz transformation

Updated BT Engage IT company insiders claim staff morale has hit rock bottom as further details of the redundancies come to light. The reseller arm of BT is integrating the three operations - BT Engage IT, Business Direct and - and are trimming the workforce, with COO Chris Leigh among those leaving the business. It has since …
Paul Kunert, 06 Dec 2011