IoT opportunities were “an underpinning factor” in bringing the two companies together, says company head
The Internet of Things (IoT) is set to arrive on the British high street in a big way following a significant statement of intent from Dixons Carphone.
The newly-formed electronics giant estimates that the IoT market could be worth as much as £5bn to the company as consumers purchase more and more connected devices, as it also plans to add products such as security, heating, lighting and wearables to its retail offering.
“[The internet of things] is an underpinning factor of why we brought Dixons and Carphone Warehouse together at the time we did,” John Hunter, group services director of Dixons Carphone said at the company’s strategy update meeting.
“It is pretty much what all of our suppliers want to talk about.”
The company believes that it can establish itself as the main provider of IoT customer services, as no one company has emerged as a leader in what is still very much a fledgling market.
“None of our competitors have breath and reach – no one really owns the services space across end to end devices so it is an exciting platform to leverage,” Hunter explained.
Despite major companies such as Amazon and Google getting involved in the IoT market (the latter through its £2bn acquisition of British smart thermostat provider Nest earlier this year); there is a significant gap in the market for a company to become the leading assistance provider for customers.
“We want to be the face of services in what is a pretty faceless world,” said Andrew Harrison, Dixons Carphone’s deputy group chief executive, who noted that , Amazon and Netflix “are not going to send someone round to your home when something breaks”, leaving a gap for the company to fill.
The creation of Dixons Carphone, through a £3.8bn merger between existing entities Dixons and Carphone Warehouse, was completed last month. The new company will have 2,900 stores across 14 countries with 40,000 employees.
The company says it currently generates £500m from services such as repair, installation, and set-up, and controls an eight to 12 percent of market share.