Retail

UK’s Dixons Carphone Warehouse Shutters 530 Locations, 3K Jobs Lost

UK’s Dixons Carphone Warehouse Shutters 530 Locations, 3K Jobs Lost

As more customers shop online and upgrade their cellphones less often, stores like Dixons Carphone Warehouse are feeling the crunch, according to a report by the Financial Times.

The U.K. company is closing 531 stores, which will result in the loss of 3,000 jobs. The stores will close on April 3.

The company’s mobile phone offerings are going to be sold online and out of Carphone Warehouse shops located in Currys PC World stores. Shares in the group were up 12 percent on the news.

The company’s CEO, Alex Baldock, said that the about 300 large locations are “doing well, with footfall steady, and that is why we are placing a big bet on these stores and investing millions of pounds in them.”

Foot traffic in smaller stores, however, was down 16 percent and not making money. Baldock said customers want to “see technology all in one place.”

There have been 90 store closings since 2018 when Baldock took over, and he said there could be more coming. The ongoing coronavirus situation has pushed him to put more emphasis on the bigger stores instead of parsing out closings of smaller ones.

Whitman Howard Analyst Tony Shiret said the decision for what to do with the remaining stores is the “elephant in the room” when it comes to how the company is going to restructure itself.

“The issue has always been when it would happen, as Dixons moves to a new business model,” Shiret said.

The company is predicted to see losses of about 90 million pounds ($108.7 million) this year alone, and the store closing plan is meant to return it to profitability.

Shiret said even though the stores were not profitable, the sales of handsets helped the company meet volume targets stipulated in mobile phone network contracts with the company.

Baldock said that the company is “preparing for severe disruption in its store operations,” but online sales “could take up part of the slack.”

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