iSnobs baffled as Dixons boss takes over Apple stores

Jan 31, 2012
Tim Edwards

John Browett poached by Tim Cook for his focus on customer service - but Apple faithful are sceptical

THE APPLE faithful have reacted with surprise - and not a little snobbery - to the company's appointment of John Browett, chief executive of Dixons, as its new Senior Vice President of Retail.

Browett, who held a number of executive roles at Tesco - including CEO of - before joining Dixons in 2007, will take charge of the global network of Apple Stores.

In 2011, Dixons saw a year-on-year seven per cent fall in sales, which was nevertheless seen as a solid performance given the economic conditions. Apple will have liked the fact that Browett presided over an increase in gross margins - the difference between the price that a company pays for a product and the price at which it sells it to customers - by 0.4 per cent. This was done by selling more products at their full price - something that discount-averse Apple is very much in favour of.

Browett's success appears to have much to do with his overhaul of Dixons - transforming its image from that of a fairly low-end electronics retailer with an emphasis on sales at the expense of customer service to a lean retailing machine with smart stores and staff.

Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, said of Browett's appointment: "Our retail stores are all about customer service, and John shares that commitment like no one else we've met. We are thrilled to have him join our team and bring his incredible retail experience to Apple."

However, Cook's words ring hollow with some Apple fanboys, who have reacted to the appointment with dismay.

On the AppleInsider forum, one user remarked: "Strange choice. Shopping at Dixons (and sister store PC World) is a terrible retailing experience."

Another said: "Call me a snob but Tesco and Dixons? Not sure about this."

Over on Twitter, Apple expert Fraser Speirs said: "I assume nobody who works at Apple has ever been to Dixons."

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Disqus - noscript

I'm waiting for AppleCare+: "This changes everything. Again. And again. And again. As long as you buy our extended warranty."