DSG International opened the first branch of The Link in 1994 due to the demand for mobile phones and other communications products. DSG International also sells mobile phones in its Currys.digital (formerly Dixons) and Currys chains, but many of its high street branches are small and hard to expand, so it opened a separate chain to provide more capacity for mobile phone sales. It did a similar thing in the computer market when it purchased Vision Technology Group Ltd (VTA) who owned PC World which was quickly expanded into the huge force that it is today.
As of August 2005 there were 295 branches of The Link, spread across the UK. The Link's annual sales in 2004/05 were £428 million.
Nick Wood, the Managing director of The Link, left the company to take over the running of the failing Dixons chain of electronics retailers. After substantially turning around the fortunes of Dixons, he was brought back to replace his own replacement, Elizabeth Fagan, after poor performance of The Link under her management. He quickly made his mark, applying an easier to understand commission structure, and placed four "live" models of phones in stores, and expanded the product range to include MP3 players and satellite Navigation systems
The company were most distressed at losing several managers, namely Frank Murphy, Ian Darwin, Seth Jackson-Main, Mark Clemments and David Fairbrass.
The Link decided a rebrand was in order and the replacement of the older adverts with new, comedy sketches featuring the Ken and Kenneth characters from The Fast Show filmed outside the Islington store also briefly gave away Ken and Kenneth badges to tie in with the advert. selling mobile phones was a change that would hopefully drive sales. A new logo was created, and the in-store look dramatically overhauled. "Music" was seen as the main focus of The Link from this point, according to Nick Wood, and he hoped this would turn the fortunes around.
The Link also had competition from the networks' own shops, namely 3, O2, Orange, T-Mobile, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile, as well as prepay competition from the likes of Woolworths and Argos. This was the reason for the late adoption of Vodafone as a post-pay network, which did not take place until 2002.
O2's purchase of The Link has meant that some stores have been rebranded as O2, and others are in the process of being sold to competitors. Of the 295 Link stores, a small percentage have been closed or sold to non-mobile phone related companies including Costa Coffee. Around half of the stores were rebranded as O2 with the majority of the remainder being sold to competitors such as Orange, T-Mobile and 3. The majority of Link staff in these stores remained employed by the new store owners, under Transfer of Undertakings (2006) UK regulations.