Dixons has said that it will be pulling out of the high street to focus on building its brand as an online store.

In the shock move, all existing Dixons High Street stores will be re-branded Currys, also owned by the company.

The company says that the changes will enable Currys and Dixons to more clearly differentiate their approach through retailing and e-tailing.

Dixons' existing e-commerce operation has recorded on average more than 50% year on year sales growth over the last 4 years.

“All 190 existing Dixons High Street stores will be re-branded 'Currys.digital', and will offer customers a wider range of products and services, including major and small appliances, whilst retaining a strong focus on digital technology". The company said in a statement on its website.

The cost of this programme is expected to be approximately £7 million, however it is expected to save over £3 million a year.

John Clare, Group chief executive of DSG international plc, the parent company, said: "I am very excited about the prospects for the Dixons brand as a pure play e-tailer. With these changes we now intend to become the most successful electrical retailer on the web, alongside our leadership position in bricks and mortar electrical retailing".

The initial conversion of existing Dixons stores to Currys.digital is expected to start in early May. All staff currently working within Dixons stores are expected to transfer to Currys as part of the process.

Dixons first opened on the high street 69 years ago as a photographic studio in Southend. It bought Currys in 1984.