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Carphone Warehouse will close over 500 stores

Dixons Carphone will close its 531 standalone Carphone Warehouse stores in the UK and focus on selling mobile devices and connectivity through its shop-in-shops in 305 big Currys PCWorld stores and online.

The small standalone stores, representing 8% of Dixons Carphone's total UK selling space, will close on 3 April 2020. The business expects almost 40% (1,800) of affected emploees to take new roles internally, but sadly expects 2,900 redundancies as the businesses are brought together. Dixons Carphone will go well beyond legal obligations in financial and other support for all affected colleagues. There's never an easy time for an announcement like this, but the turbulent times ahead only underline the importance of acting now, to ensure a business fit for the future.

The announcement is an essential next step in Dixons Carphone's turnaround of its Mobile business as part of its strategy outlined in December 2018, to return this part of the business, which will make a £90m loss this year, to profitability. Customers are changing the way they buy mobile devices and connectivity, replacing their handsets less often and buying them separately or as part of more flexible bundles.

The company has taken action in response, including renegotiating its legacy volume commitments with the mobile network operators: these will continue to roll off during FY21. As a result, the Group will no longer be encumbered by historic sales volume targets. We will provide an offer that reflects how customers are buying technology today and prepare for an even more connected 5G future that goes well beyond the mobile phone.

Customers are also increasingly choosing to shop, not only with our large and growing online business, but also in the company's big 3-in-1 stores, featuring Currys, PCWorld and Carphone Warehouse, which continue to grow market share and where customer satisfaction is sharply up. These stores, which are 20 times larger than Carphone Warehouse standalone stores, allow customers to see, touch and play with technology (electricals as well as mobile, services as well as products) and receive trusted independent advice from 17,000 expert store colleagues, all in one place. The business has been investing tens of millions of pounds in these stores.

Dixons Carphone also remains committed to the mobile category. Current Carphone Warehouse customers will be able to enjoy the same expert service in the big stores. The mobile offer will continue to be available online – including at – and through phone sales teams. Later this year, the business will launch its new mobile customer offer. This will better reflect what customers want: flexibility, transparency, and value. This will include deals they can't find anywhere else, nationwide face-to-face advice, the best range of handsets from the biggest brands and a wide range of tariffs and networks, underpinned by a market-beating price promise.

The changes being announced today do not affect the 70 Carphone Warehouse stores in the Republic of Ireland or any operations internationally.

Source Dixons Carphone; viewed: 82 times.

Adam Łukowski

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