PC World is Britain's largest chain of computer superstores, offering everything from business network systems to mouse mats.
Bought by the Dixons Group in 1993 as part of the purchase of Vision Technology Group, the chain originally had four stores. Dixons were selling PCs through their Dixons and Currys stores, and wanted a greater presence in the still-growing home PC market, as well as a way into the lucrative business and server markets.
The new store chain added a massive source of income for the group, as many people would prefer to buy computers and components from a store though of as "specialist". This gives Dixons access to almost all of the technical demographic sectors of the PC marketplace.
PC World sells a range of peripherals, as well as machines from a variety of manufacturers, notably Compaq, Packard Bell, HP and eMachines, (but, I hasten to add, not any of Tiny, Time or Mesh). They also market Dixons own brand range of PCs, Advent, as well as being the sole UK distributor of eMachines computers.
Since 2002, PC World have begun selling build-your-own components, to attract the more technical market sector and to increase credibility. This puts them in direct competition with Maplin and others, especially as they are pushing for a greater online prescence.
The Group has invested heavily in PC World, and the chain now has over 90 stores as well as two in the Republic of Ireland. Sales in the last trading year were £1,108 million, and Dixons continues its policy of opening new PC World stores to boost their market share.
In addition to opening stores in the UK, Dixons has also taken the store format overseas, in the form of PC City, opening up all over Europe.