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PC World makes surprising strategy announcement

With everyone expecting the overall outlook for electrical retail stores to remain fairly bleak, the main competitors are working to find new ways to deliver shareholder value and return a dividend. At Multiplay i43, there was a surprising announcement on the main stage. Here’s what they said and a question: “Should other retailers be worried?”

In the same way that Thursday 26th August was dedicated to the setting up of a huge campsite for gamers that had travelled across the land toward i43, Sunday was dedicated to some monster finals. In between the best teams fragging each other to death on the huge main screen, sponsors came up with messages of support for the community – as well as huge bags of freebies which they liberally tossed into the fan’s feeding frenzy.

PC World targets these people with new web site, lower prices and more event support. Happy campers indeed.

Apart from a few elbows thrown to ensure the rightful owners got the best stuff, the whole finals day ceremony passed without KitGuru’s rat-like cunning being tripped once. That is, until Adam Chaplin from PC World took to the stage and gave his company’s message of support.

PC World's Adam Chaplin, broadcasting to a packed hall, from the massive screens above the main stage

Almost verbatim, it went like this, “We love being here. You are a great crowd and I can guarantee you, right here, right now, that we will be back at Multiplay’s Insomnia 12 months from now, standing on this stage in front of you. We are here to stay. We’re here to stay and we’re going to get better. We’re changing everything. We’re redesigning our web site and we’re not going to be beaten by anyone on price or service”. Now them’s fighting words.

Adam was on stage for quite a while, but this little speech tells us:-

  • That they know the other online retailers in the market have moved ahead – and they want to react by improving everything they do as a company
  • PC World is presently re-designing all of its back end systems to become much more competitive
  • It will utilise its size and relationships to become much more attractive on price
  • Gamers are serious influencers in the market and PC World knows that
  • PC World is saying that it understands that you cannot be ‘short term’ with the enthusiast community
  • They have realised that Multiplay and its Insomnia gaming event holds a unique place in the UK market – and PC World is guaranteeing to support it through i44, i45 and i46

When they're not busy sleeping in their tents, this is what the world's gaming elite look like. A huge crowd of insomniacs gathered to hear PC World's declaration of endless support and undying love. Nice.

With this kind of positioning statement, PC World is not only saying that it is ready to defend its turf against American giants like BestBuy, but that it’s also looking to win head-to-head with major UK brands like eBuyer, Scan, Dabs and Overclockers. Interesting times.

KitGuru says: Every one of the thousands of gamers packed into the Telford International Centre over the weekend, had a powerful gaming rig with them. With this big/positive statement, PC World is showing just how seriously it takes those gamers. As a major corporate, it knows that  each of these gamers huge amounts of kit each year. It also knows that each of these gamers create a  ‘recommendation effect’ into their friends and family – which increases the effectiveness of any marketing multiple times. Supporting Insomnia is an intelligent move by PC World and we wish them luck.

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