BT Buys Dabs.Com

BT has acquired dabs.com plc, one of the UK’s leading internet retailers of IT and technology products. BT say the move is part of their strategy to strengthen its online direct sales and service capabilities, particularly for small and medium-sized business and consumer products.

To complement Dabs’ broad base of IT and technology products, BT will offer its full range of products and support services online. This will enhance BT’s position as a leading retailer of converged IT and communications products and services direct to users.

Established in 1990 and employing more than 200 people, dabs.com processes about 75,000 customer orders each month and offers more than 15,000 products from leading IT manufacturers.

Bolton based Dabs has around a million consumer and business customers across the UK, as well as a small operation in France. In the year ended March 31, 2005, the company’s revenues were £180 million with gross assets valued at £42million.

Ian Livingston, chief executive of BT Retail, said: “Dabs is a dotcom success story and one of the best companies in its field. dabs.com’s outstanding expertise will boost BT’s online power to sell innovative, value for money, communication and converged IT products and offer great service to a wide range of customers. This purchase strengthens our online IT and digital products sales and service presence for small and medium-sized businesses as well as for consumer customers.”

Jonathan Wall, marketing director at dabs.com, said: “This is a very exciting time. We are delighted with this development and we’re confident that this will prove to be
rewarding to both our business partners and our customers. The combination of our expertise in online retailing together with BT’s brand and product and service heritage offers tremendous opportunities.”

The dabs.com business now becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of BT and observers are already asking how long it will be before users can order lines and minutes on line at the site.

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