Britain’s biggest electrical and mobile phone retailer Dixons Carphone has announced that it will close 531 standalone stores to “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 3rd April 2020.
The business expects almost 40% (1,800) of affected colleagues to take new roles internally. However, this means that 2,900 employees can expect to be made redundant.
Dixons Carphone insisted that it will “go well beyond legal obligations in financial and other support for all affected colleagues”, admitting that there is 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 decision is an essential next step in Dixons Carphone’s turnaround of its Mobile business, which will make a £90m loss this year, to profitability.
“Customers are changing how they buy technology, and Dixons Carphone must change with them,” commented Alex Baldock, Group Chief Executive of Dixons Carphone. “We’re underway with a fundamental transformation to do so.
“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.”
Baldock said that the company will “treat everyone with honesty, respect and care” and will 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.”
Following the closures, Dixons Carphone will invest tens of millions of pounds into its 300+ ‘big stores’.
“We remain committed to Mobile, as we’re showing by developing a new offer for customers, retaining as many Carphone Warehouse colleagues as we can, and making Mobile a core category in our big stores and online. As such, Mobile will be part of the one, joined-up business that customers want and that’s essential for our transformation. Today’s announcement is about ensuring we’re ready for that future, and staying on track for future success,” said Baldock.
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