Dixons Carphone is closing its 531 standalone Carphone Warehouse stores in the UK, putting nearly 3,000 people out of work.
The firm said in a statement today it was part of the “next step in its transformation” and will now focus on selling mobile devices and connectivity through its shop-in-shops in Currys PCWorld stores and online instead.
These changes will not affect the 70 Carphone Warehouse stores in the Republic of Ireland or any operations internationally.
The small standalone stores, representing eight per cent of Dixons Carphone’s total UK selling space, will close on 3 April. The business expects around 1,800 affected colleagues to take new roles internally, but sadly expects 2,900 redundancies as the businesses are brought together.
The retailer “will go well beyond legal obligations in financial and other support for all affected colleagues”, it said, adding that due to “turbulent times ahead” it was important to act now “to ensure a business fit for the future”.
The firm’s Chief Executive, Alex Baldock, blamed “unsustainable” losses of £90 million a year for the decision.
“I don’t underestimate how upsetting this news will be for our colleagues, and we’ll treat everyone with honesty, respect and care,” he said.
“We’re working hard to look after those colleagues we can’t find new roles for, financially and otherwise. We’ll pay enhanced redundancy, any bonuses, honour their share awards, and help them find new jobs through an outplacement programme.
“We recognise our responsibilities towards our colleagues and communities, and intend to fulfil them.”
Mr Baldock continued and said that customers are increasingly choosing to shop, not only with its 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”, he reported.
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 some 17,000 store colleagues. The business has been investing tens of millions of pounds in these stores.
“Though this is by far the toughest decision we’ve had to make, it is necessary,” Mr Baldock said. “We must follow our customers. They want help with all technology, all in one place, and this trend is only going to accelerate in a more connected 5G world.
“Today’s announcement is about ensuring we’re ready for that future, and staying on track for future success.”