BT snaps up

BT snaps up

Telco seeks stronger retail presence

BT has bought online electronics retailer in a bid to strengthen its retail sales. The exact price has not been disclosed but is thought to be in the region of £30m.

Bolton-based Dabs has around a million consumer and business customers across the UK, as well as a small operation in France. The company turned over £180m last year.

"Dabs is a dotcom success story and one of the best companies in its field," said Ian Livingston, chief executive at BT Retail.

"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."
Dabs began as Dabs Press, a publisher of technology books. The company's name came from its two founders, David Atherton and Bruce Smith.

"We are delighted with this development and confident that this will prove to be rewarding to our business partners and customers," said Jonathan Wall, marketing director at

"The combination of our expertise in online retailing, together with BT's brand and product and service heritage, offers tremendous opportunities."

The buyout will not affect the range of products Dabs offers, but BT's own retail offerings will be added to the site.