Hygena is a brand of fitted kitchen and furniture operating in the United Kingdom. Started in Liverpool in 1925 to make Hoosier cabinets, it was bought by new investors in 1938, who after the war built modular kitchens for the new British post-war temporary prefab houses. With the introduction of design concepts based on the Frankfurt kitchen and new materials such as formica, Hygena became the dominant brand in kitchens from the 1960s through the 1970s, but mass manufacture and a change in styles meant that it ended up as an economy brand in the UK, bought out in the 1987 by the MFI Group. MFI sold the mainland European rights to the brand to Nobia in 2006, who on MFI's bankruptcy two years also bought the global brand rights. However, the UK and Irish rights were bought by the Home Retail Group in 2009. Nobia sold the international rights to the brand to Groupe Fournier in 2015, who replaced it with its own SoCoo'c brand over the next 18 months. In 2016, the Home Retail Group was purchased by the UK retailer Sainsbury's, including the UK and Irish rights and the sole use of the Hygena brand.
The Hygena Cabinet Co. Ltd was established in 1925 in Liverpool by George Nunn and Len Cooklin, to make a variety of the popular Hoosier cabinets; as the Hoosier dwindled in popularity, so did the company's sales, resulting in the company's going bankrupt in 1938. Bought up by new investors, it made produce for the Ministry of War during World War II. Returning to civilian production, it became involved with the design and manufacture of kitchens for post-war temporary prefab houses; the Ministry of Works had specified a set of design conformance instructions, while the majority of manufacturers were using former war-time scale facilities, which resulted in a preference for factory-based mass manufacture. In 1943, the London-based Selection Engineering Company Ltd had appointed Hungarian emigre George Fejer as an industrial designer, who on a part-time basis helped out with their modular kitchen design. After completing construction of over 29,000 Uni-Seco prefab houses, by 1950 Fejer was looking for a new opportunity.
Approached by Arthur Webb and George Nunn, Fejer was key in the creation the UK style of fitted kitchen, based on the principles of the Frankfurt kitchen. The design team realised that the post-War austerity period was over, the 1950s kitchen needed to be bright and modern, influenced from contemporary American ideals of domesticity and good living. Pre-war English Rose kitchens had been the living ideal, but with wood in short supply, Aluminium became the material of choice; this promoted a clean fresh image, which helped to announce a new beginning post-War. Worksurfaces were most created in Formica, which available in a series of colours all with wipe-clean surfaces, reduced the amount of labour needed to prepare food. 1950s kitchens often incorporated rounded shelves at the end of the units providing extra storage and a useful location for the bakelite radio. With much British manufacturing production still managed through standards defined by the MoW in the form of the newly launched British Standard, the first new Hygena kitchen range of the 1950s was the BU, available in cream or cream and green.
But the mid-1950s F range was the companies first prefabricated kitchen, combining wall units with sliding doors, built-in sinks and larders with clear plastic storage bins. But the key to the F range was the accessibility of its style at a cheap price, with the most popular of the huge colour range choice being red tops, blue doors and white draws. In 1958 the company was joined by MSIA, as Chief Designer and Kitchen Planner. Marshall had worked with George Fejer at Fejer's design Studio at Murray Road, Wimbledon, S. W.19 in the earlier 1950s. At Fejer's suggestion, Arthur Webb and George Nunn invited Marshall to move to Liverpool to join them at their Kirkby factory, henceforward he was responsible for their design and planning work. <Marshall information from family member who knew Fejer> At this time fitted kitchens were still beyond many people's price range, builders still did not incorporate one into their new build houses. However, the 1960s changed that, with Hygena and Allied Iron Foundries in their Leisure Lineline range introducing the wider use of Formica.
Until this point, kitchens were either made of metal, hence polished, or wood and hence needed to be painted. The introduction of formica meant that no longer was there a need to paint or repaint your "new" kitchen, just use it. Secondly, formica was easy clean, although most new houses incorporated a serving hatch between kitchen and dining room and more families were adopting to the American kitchen diner concept. In 1967 Norcros reorganised the board of Hygena with the appointments of Donald Standen, John Kennedy, Derek Davies and George Robinson; these changes were made to improve increase sales and profitability. The company's main business was with Builders Merchants and Departmental Stores, none of whom kept items in stock. John Kennedy requested George Robinson to produce a limited range of melamine faced units at a specific price level in order to provide a USP for Hygena in the market place, to facilitate retail stock holding; the Company's TV advertising used a little girl to demonstrate simplicity of assembly, the ease of units being carried away by customers.
As a result of the introduction of QA a range of seven units in four colours and profit increased In 1971 the same team developed and launched a range of self-assembly Fitted Bedroom Furniture under the name White Space. In 1972 it was decide
PC World (retailer)
PC World is one of the United Kingdom's largest retail chains of mass market computer megastores. Established in November 1991, it became part of Dixons Retail in February 1993 and part of Dixons Carphone after the merger of Dixons Retail and Carphone Warehouse in August 2014. Many of its physical shops in the United Kingdom now trade under the combined Currys PC World brand, as PC City in Italy. In November 1991, Vision Technology Group Ltd opened the first PC World shop in Croydon. In February 1993, when Dixons Group plc purchased the chain, there were four PC World shops in existence. There followed a period of expansion; this expansion was driven by a series of acquisitions, beginning with DN Computer Services in November 1996, followed by Byte Computer Superstores Ltd in April 1998, MicroWarehouse in June 2004. In September 2006, PC World UK assumed management control of its French subsidiary. In 2006, there were 163 PC World shops in Ireland. In the United Kingdom, PC World Business was launched in September 1997.
Since March 2001, PC World Business has been based in Bury, Greater Manchester, has its own management team. In October 2006, PC World launched "The Connected Home", selling PC based home entertainment systems and installation services. During 2007 to 2008, PC World was due to undergo a style change, with a proposed new logo, staff uniforms, shop layouts, as part of its image re branding programme; the changes were trialled at branches in Brentford, Portsmouth, Southampton, Isle of Wight, Enfield and North Shields. In August 2008, the "proposed" logo was shelved, in favour of a new logo. In December 2008, PC World reported its first loss, posting underlying losses of £29.8 million in the six months to October 2008, compared to a £52.4 million profit in 2007. The shops offer ranges of consumer oriented PCs, laptops and peripherals, including DSG shops' own brand Advent and PC Line. Shops have a "KnowHow desk", which offers advice and services; some shops have a "Component Centre" area, which contains more basic PC components such as motherboards, hard drives and cases.
On 13 December 2007, it was announced. This was one of many moves Dell made to sell their laptops to a wider market; this includes Dell selling their XPS systems in many HMV shops across the United Kingdom. PC World opened their first two in one megastore with Currys at Wandsworth Bridge, Fulham, on 29 October 2009, followed by Merry Hill Shopping Centre, Aintree Teesside Park and Bridge of Dee in June and July 2010. PC World closed their last remaining standalone shop in Ayr, in the week commencing 26 March 2018, now exists online and as part of the Currys megastores. In February 2005, PC World attracted criticism, for the strong promotion of extended warranties and in May 2013, if an extended warranty is not purchased, customers are required to use outsourced, local rate telephone support for hardware issues or premium rate telephone lines for software issues. In June 2004, a Which? survey ranked PC World joint last for customer satisfaction. In March 2006, PC World attempted to get away from its reputation for having sales staff on up to 20% commission, who would therefore use high pressure sales tactics with its "One Team" marketing campaign.
The bonus is based on other non monetary metrics, such as customer satisfaction. To compensate the 275 highest earners under the old scheme for reduced bonuses, their basic pay was raised by 16% from around £11,000 to around £13,000 per year. In December 2007, in a response to the perception that PC World staff are young, lacking in knowledge and communications skills, a set of e learning courses called "The Power of Knowledge" were completed by 6,000 staff; the results were incorporated into their Christmas bonuses, as an incentive for staff to improve their knowledge. In January 2008, a survey for Which? Revealed that PC World was ranked in the bottom ten retailers in the United Kingdom. In June 2014, Which? reported PC World overcharging for repairs, lack of technical competence among technicians. This was from seven sampled shops. In March 2014, an "offensive" PC World logo was visible, if you had typed'computer superstore' on Google. In June 2014, the BBC's consumer awareness programme Watchdog found that PC World was accused of mis selling HDMI cables in 9 out of 15 test purchases, claiming that the more you pay the better the quality, a false statement.
In November 1997, Gary Glitter took a laptop into a branch of PC World in Bristol for repair, where child abuse imagery was found by staff, who informed the police and Glitter was subsequently charged and found guilty of possessing child pornography. This conviction damaged Glitter's reputation, ended his career. In January 2006, after numerous complaints, PC World was forced to remove an advert, that gave misinformation about wireless networking. There have been countless other complaints over adverts regarding goods advertised, but not available in the shops. In September 2007, a customer alleged that when he returned a laptop under warranty with a faulty hinge, PC World refused to honour their warranty because he had installed a Linux operating system on the laptop, therefore had invalidated the warranty he had had on the product, although the fault was a hardware matter and would not have been affected by the operating system installed. In September 2009, PC World staff were investigated for posting abusive a
Elgiganten is a consumer electronics retailer operating in Denmark and Sweden, where its parent Elkjøp operates in Norway and have subsidiaries like Gigantti and Elding. There are Elgiganten A/S and Elgiganten AB both directly operated under Elkjøp Nordic AS. Peder Stedal is Managing Director of Elgiganten A/S and Niclas Eriksson is Managing Director of Elgiganten AB. In 2009, English actor John Cleese participated in adverts running on Danish, Swedish and Finnish television to promote the company. Swedish site Danish site Norwegian site Finnish site
Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south; the kanji that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", it is called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands; the four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area and are referred to as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions, with Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one; the population of 127 million is the world's tenth largest. 90.7 % of people live in cities. About 13.8 million people live in the capital of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with over 38 million people. Archaeological research indicates; the first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD.
Influence from other regions China, followed by periods of isolation from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shōguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. After nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection, the Imperial Court regained its political power in 1868 through the help of several clans from Chōshū and Satsuma – and the Empire of Japan was established. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism; the Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the Japanese surrender. Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947, during the occupation led by SCAP, the sovereign state of Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet.
Japan is a member of the ASEAN Plus mechanism, UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8, the G20, is considered a great power. Its economy is the world's third-largest by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by purchasing power parity, it is the world's fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer. Japan benefits from a skilled and educated workforce. Although it has renounced its right to declare war, Japan maintains a modern military with the world's eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a developed country with a high standard of living and Human Development Index, its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and third lowest infant mortality rate in the world, but is experiencing issues due to an aging population and low birthrate. Japan is renowned for its historical and extensive cinema, influential music industry, video gaming, rich cuisine and its major contributions to science and modern technology; the Japanese word for Japan is 日本, pronounced Nihon or Nippon and means "the origin of the sun".
The character nichi means "sun" or "day". The compound therefore means "origin of the sun" and is the source of the popular Western epithet "Land of the Rising Sun"; the earliest record of the name Nihon appears in the Chinese historical records of the Tang dynasty, the Old Book of Tang. At the end of the seventh century, a delegation from Japan requested that Nihon be used as the name of their country; this name may have its origin in a letter sent in 607 and recorded in the official history of the Sui dynasty. Prince Shōtoku, the Regent of Japan, sent a mission to China with a letter in which he called himself "the Emperor of the Land where the Sun rises"; the message said: "Here, I, the emperor of the country where the sun rises, send a letter to the emperor of the country where the sun sets. How are you". Prior to the adoption of Nihon, other terms such as Yamato and Wakoku were used; the term Wa is a homophone of Wo 倭, used by the Chinese as a designation for the Japanese as early as the third century Three Kingdoms period.
Another form of Wa, Wei in Chinese) was used for an early state in Japan called Nakoku during the Han dynasty. However, the Japanese disliked some connotation of Wa 倭, it was therefore replaced with the substitute character Wa, meaning "togetherness, harmony"; the English word Japan derives from the historical Chinese pronunciation of 日本. The Old Mandarin or early Wu Chinese pronunciation of Japan was recorded by Marco Polo as Cipangu. In modern Shanghainese, a Wu dialect, the pronunciation of characters 日本; the old Malay word for Japan, Japun or Japang, was borrowed from a southern coastal Chinese dialect Fukienese or Ningpo – and this Malay word was encountered by Portuguese traders in Southeast Asia in the 16th century. These Early Portuguese traders brought the word
Inmac, which became a publicly traded company, was founded in 1975 in Silicon Valley. The company was first listed on the NASDAQ in 1987 and merged with MicroWarehouse in 1996. Inmac was founded by Ken Eldred and Jim Willenborg, who met while in the MBA program at Stanford Business School. With $5,000 and a grocery bag full of connector parts and Willenborg set out to serve minicomputer owners by mail order. After being turned down by venture capitalists, they raised $50,000 from friends and family; this bootstrapping meant the company remained held by the founders. The company was profitable, no additional funding was required until Inmac went public. Inmac was the first company to sell computer-related products and accessories via direct-mail catalogs. From its initial Palo Alto, California location, Inmac expanded internationally to England, Sweden, France the Netherlands, Canada and Japan. By 1989, Inmac was publishing 35 million catalogs in eight different languages, as international sales accounted for more than half the company's revenue.
When the company was sold to MicroWarehouse in 1996, it had 1,500 employees and annual revenue over $400 million. Inmac instituted a number of trend-setting practices including customer calls being answered on the first ring. All items carried a one-year no-hassle return policy and a two-year minimum product performance guarantee. At all locations around the world 95% of orders received by 5pm were shipped that same day most for next day receipt. Within certain areas, deliveries would be made within six hours. In 2005, the French subsidiary, Inmac France, was sold to the French retailer Wstore and became Inmac Wstore. LinkedIn Company Profile
Dixons Retail plc was one of the largest consumer electronics retailers in Europe. In the United Kingdom, the company operated Currys, Currys Digital, PC World, Dixons Travel and its service brand Knowhow. Dixons Retail's Nordic and central European business was operated under the Elkjøp umbrella, it operated Kotsovolos in Greece; the company was listed on the London Stock Exchange and was a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index until its merger with Carphone Warehouse on 7 August 2014 to create Dixons Carphone. At the time of its merger in 2014, Dixons Retail had 530 outlets in the United Kingdom and Ireland, 322 in Northern Europe; the company known as Dixons Group plc and DSG International plc, specialised in selling mass market technology consumer electronics products, audio video equipment, PCs, small and large domestic appliances, photographic equipment, communication products and related financial and after sales services. It sold other products and services, electrical products, mobile services and extended warranties.
Dixons was founded as a photographic studio by Charles Kalms and Michael Mindel in the High Street in Southend under the name of Dixons Studios Limited, a company registered in October 1937 with share capital of £100. The name Dixons, selected randomly from the telephone directory, was sufficiently short to fit above the small shop front. During the beginning of the 1940s, Dixons set up seven studios around London but by the end of the Second World War the business was reduced to a single studio in Edgware. Stanley Kalms, the son of the founder, joined the business in 1948 and started advertising the company's products in the press. In 1950, the company started selling cameras, in 1957, opened a new head office and buying centre in Edgware to accommodate the staff dealing with 60,000 mail order customers and to provide administrative back up for its six stores. Dixons was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1962, changing its name at that time to Dixons Photographic Limited, it bought out competitors, Ascotts, in 1962 and Bennetts, in 1964.
In 1967, Dixons bought an 85,000 sq ft colour film processing laboratory in Stevenage. Charles Kalms was succeeded by his son Stanley in 1971. In 1972, Dixons bought another competitor, Wallace Heaton, in 1974, it opened its Stevenage distribution centre. In February 1993, Dixons bought Vision Technology Group, operating under the PC World brand at Croydon, Lakeside Shopping Centre and Staples Corner; that year, the company sold VTG's mail order division, Dixons US Holdings Inc and Supasnaps. The company opened its first duty free store at Heathrow Terminal 3 in 1994, that year launched phone store The Link, the company's first venture into communications; the company's head office was relocated to Hemel Hempstead. In November 1996, Dixons bought a computer reseller business, it acquired the retail assets of Harry Moore Ltd, an Irish electrical retailer. Cellnet bought a 40% stake in The Link in April 1997; that year, the Dixons website was launched. In 1998, Freeserve, a free Internet service, was launched.
Dixons bought Elkjøp ASA, a Norwegian retailer, in November 1999. In October 2002, Dixons bought UniEuro, an Italian-based electrical retailer, Genesis Communications, a mobile phone service provider; the company opened its first Electro World store in Hungary in February 2002. In October 2005, Dixons Group plc changed its name to DSG International plc. Further potential expansion came in April 2005, when DSGi bought an interest in Eldorado Group, the largest electrical retailer in Russia and Ukraine, with an option to buy the rest by 2011 at a fixed price of US$1.9 billion. This option was not pursued, DSGi withdrawing their interest in April 2007. In May 2006, DSGi was awarded the Queen's Award for Enterprise; the company announced that the Dixons brand would continue purely online and that all high street stores would be rebranded Currys.digital. DSGi bought 75% of Fotovista, a French photographic business. In January 2008, DSGi announced that it would stop selling analogue televisions and only sell integrated digital televisions, in an effort to get consumers ready for the digital switchover.
In May 2008, DSGi announced that it would close 77 of its 177 Currys.digital shops in the United Kingdom, as their building leases expired over the following five years. In May 2010, the company secured exclusive rights to sell the Apple iPad. In June 2010, DSGi changed its name to Dixons Retail plc. In May 2014, Dixons confirmed a proposed merger with Carphone Warehouse which would lead to a market capitalisation of around £3.7 billion. As of 2014, Dixons has 530 outlets in the United Kingdom and Ireland, 322 in northern Europe; the company is structured according to the international locations of its businesses and brands, as detailed below: Brands comprise: Currys / PC World – specialises in home electronics and household appliances. Team KnowHow – a provider of after-sales product support and cover. Dixons Travel – a retailer operating in the main airports in the United Kingdom and Dublin International Airport in the Republic of Ireland. DSGi Business – a specialist provider of IT solutions to business and the public sector.
Brands comprise: Elgiganten -- sells home electronics and household appliances in Sweden. Elkjøp – sells home electronics and household appliances in Norway. Elko – sells home
Badge engineering, sometimes called rebadging, is the practice of applying a different badge or trademark to an existing product and subsequently marketing the variant as a distinct product. Due to the high cost of designing and engineering a new model or establishing a brand, economies of scale make it less expensive to rebadge a product once or multiple times than to create different models; the term badge engineering is an intentionally ironic misnomer, in that little or no actual engineering takes place. The term originated with the practice of replacing an automobile's emblems to create an ostensibly new model sold by a different maker. Changes may be confined to swapping badges and emblems, or may encompass minor styling differences, as with cosmetic changes to headlights, tail lights and rear fascias and outer body skins. More extreme examples involve differing drivetrains; the term badge engineered does not apply to vehicles that share a common platform architecture but are uniquely designed so that they may look different from each other.
This is achieved by not sharing visible parts, maintaining a host of underlying parts specific to their respective applications. Although platform sharing involves rebadging, it often extends much further than that, as an automobile platform may be used with many different applications. Rebadging in the automotive industry can be compared with white-label products in other consumer goods industries, such as consumer electronics and power tools; the first case of badge engineering began in 1917 with the Texan automobile assembled in Fort Worth, that made use of Elcar bodies made in Elkhart, Indiana."Probably the industry's first example of one car becoming another" occurred in 1926 when Nash Motors' newly introduced smaller-sized Ajax models were discontinued in 1926 after over 22,000 Ajax cars were sold during the brand's inaugural year. The chairman and CEO of the company, Charles W. Nash, ordered that the Ajax models be marketed as the "Nash Light Six", Nash being a known and respected automobile brand.
Production was stopped for two days so Nash emblems and radiator shells could be exchanged on all unshipped Ajax cars. Conversion kits were distributed at no charge to Ajax owners to transform their cars and protect the investment they had made in purchasing an automobile made by Nash. Starting with the beginning of General Motors in 1923, chassis and platforms were shared with all brands. GMC, a truck builder, began to offer their products branded as Chevrolet, vehicles produced by GM were built on common platforms shared with Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac. Exterior appearances were upgraded between these vehicle brands. For 1958, GM was promoting their fiftieth year of production, introduced Anniversary models for each brand; the 1958 models shared a common appearance on the top models for each brand. A example was Wolseley Motors after it was bought out by William Morris. After World War I, the "Wolseley started to lose its identity and succumbed to badge engineering." This was repeated with the consolidation of Austin Motor Company and the Nuffield Organisation to form the British Motor Corporation.
The rationalization of production to gain efficiencies "did not extend to marketing" and each "model was adapted, by variation in trim and accessories, to appeal to customer loyalties for whom the badge denoting the company of origin was an important selling advantage...'Badge Engineering', as it became known, was symptomatic of a policy of sales competition between the constituent organizations." The ultimate example of BMC badge engineering was the BMC ADO16, available badged as a Morris, MG, Wolseley and Vanden Plas. Badge engineering occurs when an individual manufacturer, such as General Motors, owns a portfolio of different brands, markets the same car under a different brand, it may be done to expand the ranges of different brands in one market without developing new models, such as selling one car as a Chevrolet, a GMC and a Cadillac by GM in the United States. It may be done to sell the same model in different regions and markets under a different name. For example, cars built by Daewoo, now owned by GM, are no longer badged as Daewoos.
Instead, they are now badged as Chevrolets. In Australia and New Zealand, where Daewoo was unsuccessful, they were rebadged as Holden models; the Australian car manufacturing industry experienced major badge reengineering during the 1980s and 1990s as part of the failed Button car plan. In Japan, Toyota and Honda used this approach to expand vehicle production by offering one car at multiple Japanese dealerships. Toyota took the Corolla, exclusive to Toyota Corolla Store locations and sold it as the Toyota Sprinter, exclusive to Toyota Auto Store locations. Nissan followed suit with the Nissan Cedric, sold an identical bodystyle of the Cedric, called the Nissan Gloria, sold the Cedric at Nissan Bluebird Store, while the Gloria was sold at Nissan Prince Store. Honda pursued this marketing approach with the Honda Accord, sold in 1984 at Honda Clio locations and sold it as the Honda Vigor at Honda Verno locations; the difference to this method, as oppose