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Thursday, 10 October, 2002, 14:10 GMT 15:10 UK
Chaos in Prague as Dixons opens
Dixons store
Dixons: Not quite such a pull in the UK

The British consumer electronics firm Dixons has caused traffic mayhem in the Czech capital Prague where the opening of its first store in the country led to 10-kilometre traffic jams and huge queues.

Such was the chaos caused by the opening of the store that the police had to close off the roads leading to it and appeal to motorists to avoid the area.

A crowd of about 10,000 people crushed around the entrance doors before the shop opened and many of them had slept outside overnight.

Electroworld, owned by Dixons, is offering huge bargains for its first days in business and the customers were frantic to get in.

No chance

The electric entrance doors were put out of action by damage from over-enthusiastic bargain-hunters.

Later, people were squeezed in through a side-entrance in groups of a hundred.

At the back of the queue, people were giving up and going home, aware they had no chance of being served.

Meanwhile, a 10-kilometre traffic jam leading to the store had formed.

Price war

The arrival of Dixons on the Czech market has been eagerly awaited by consumers here, and has already caused a price war among local retailers worried about losing business to the group's low-cost stores.

There were similar scenes of chaos in Hungary earlier this year when Dixons launched there.

The company's boss, John Clare, has said Dixons is expanding into countries where it can hope to become the biggest player in the market.

See also:

11 Sep 02 | Business
01 Jul 02 | Business
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