Carphone Warehouse to close ALL 531 standalone stores – 2,900 jobs to be cut
The impacted shops, which represent eight percent of Dixons Carphone’s UK selling space, will shut on April 3.
Almost 40 percent of affected employees (1,800 members of staff) are expected to take new roles in the business.
The company’s 70 Carphone Warehouses shops in Ireland will remain open, with its international operations remaining unaffected.
The retail giant said the move is not related to the coronavirus outbreak in the UK, but is because of the changing mobile phone market.
There are Carphone Warehouse shops inside 305 PC World and Curry’s stores, but these will not be affected by these changes.
Dixons Carphone insisted the move is “essential” to help turn around its UK mobile arm, which is set to make a £90 million loss this year.
Carphone Warehouse group chief executive Alex Baldock said “Today’s tough decision is an essential part of that, the next step in making our UK mobile business a success for customers, colleagues and other shareholders.
“Clearly, with unsustainable losses of £90m expected this year, mobile is currently holding back the whole business.
“There’s never an easy time for an announcement like this, but the turbulent times ahead only underline the importance of acting now.”
“I don’t underestimate how upsetting this news will be for our colleagues, and we’ll treat everyone with honesty, respect and care.
Mr Baldock added customers are buying products more online and from its bigger stores that sell electricals such as computers and TVs, as well as mobiles.
He said: “Customers are increasingly heading, not just to our large and growing online business, but into our big stores, where they can find all the experts and tech – mobiles, computers, TVs, smart tech, appliances, gaming and all the rest – they need.
“But they can’t find all this in the small mobile-only stores that are one twentieth of the size; they’re visiting these less and these stores are losing more money as a result.
“That’s why we’re committed to our more than 300 big stores around the UK, why we’re investing tens of millions of pounds in them and in the thousands of expert colleagues who work in them. But it’s also why sadly we have to close the small stores.”
Dixons Carphone said it has not yet seen a large hit from the coronavirus outbreak across Europe other than some supply issues, but is “preparing for one”.
But the retail giant warned its 29 travel stores have been significantly impacted by the outbreak as passenger numbers plummet, and it is expecting profits from the division to be knocked by around £5 million.
The company also warned of an impact from the Greek Government’s decision to close shops for two weeks from March 18.
But Dixons Carphone insisted both the travel and Greek businesses are just small parts of the overall group.
The retailer said it is currently on track to meet its full-year 2019-20 adjusted pretax profit guidance of £210million despite the headwind to profit from Dixons Travel and currency translation, as well as for net debt to be lower year-on-year.
Dixons Carphone said: “We are aware that our stores could experience a significant reduction in sales in the months ahead and we are modelling a range of downside scenarios and planning accordingly.
“We are ready to switch more fulfilment to our online and direct channels and we will manage our costs and cash closely, including a tight control of capital expenditure if necessary.”
This is a breaking story. More to follow.
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