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Robox wars: Dixons ward off competitors by remaining tech-savvy

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Yesterday marked a milestone for CEL’s Robox 3D printer, for after 26 months of hard work it will be available at Curry’s PC World. The innovative printer launched in stores such as Maplin in December. The “stylish, effective and affordable 3D printer” will now be marketed as an accessible household product, not just for professionals.

The printer is designed to be used by the whole family, with Sebastian James, Chief Executive of Dixons Carphone, initially drawn to the product by his children at a trade fair. Its aesthetically pleasing design, along with its functional dual-head print nozzle, provides the latest in home devices.

Chris Elsworthy told Retail Gazette that to develop the 3D printer, CEL looked at the flaws on existing products and how they could develop them to create a successful product on the “mass market, to get everyone involved”. One development has involved automated material recognition, allowing the printer to automatically adjust its setting to suit its chosen material, as opposed to users having to manually change settings.

The piece, which is is retailing at £999.99, also provides a practical move forward for small businesses or those working from home, allowing them to produce quality work at an affordable price.

Dixons Carphone provided the best performing stock in the FTSE in 2014 and achieved a group like-for-like increase of 7% over the Christmas trading period, so will provide CEL with a great sales platform. Rachel Wareham, Category Manager at DixonsCarphone is confident that the product will be a success:

“Robox has the potential to be a mass-market product – it works like magic, looks great and is incredible value-for-money.”

The collaboration highlights the importance of technology and retail co-operating in a modern age, as retailers must keep up with their technologically aware consumers. Adaptation is key for businesses to keep up with competition, something CEL is aware of:

“Reaching this milestone does not mean it’s ‘mission accomplished’ for us here at CEL; we’re continually improving Robox’s hardware and software, we’ve got some fantastic new accessories due to be released later this year, and more orders to fulfil than we thought possible at this point in time”.

Published on Friday 27 February by Rachel Gee

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