Carphone Warehouse to close all standalone UK stores

The move will see 2,900 staff made redundant

Carphone Warehouse has announced it will close all its 532 standalone stores on 3 April in a move that will see 2,900 staff made redundant.

Commenting on the decision, parent company Dixons Carphone said the closures were an “essential next step” in its strategy to resurrect the fortunes of its mobile business in the face of a changing mobile market.

The closures include 25 stores based in Northern Ireland, however some 70 stores in the Republic of Ireland will not be affected, according to a company spokesperson speaking to the Irish Independent.

The retailer has shops inside 305 PC World and Curry’s stores which will remain unaffected by the changes, it said, with 40% (1,800) of its standalone store workforce to remain with the firm in different capacities.

Group CEO Alex Baldock said customers have been using its standalone shops less in recent times, instead opting to make purchases online or from the larger PC World and Curry’s stores.

“Customers are changing how they buy technology, and Dixons Carphone must change with them,” he said.

“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.”

Despite the closures, which represent around 8% of Dixons Carphone’s total UK selling space, the group said it “remains committed to the mobile category”.

For staff that won’t be offered new roles in the company, Baldock said the firm will pay enhanced redundancy, any bonuses, honour their share awards, as well as help them find new jobs via an outplacement programme.

“We recognise pour responsibilities towards our colleagues and communities, and intend to fulfil them,” he continued. “But though this is by far the toughest decision we’ve had to make, it is necessary.

“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.”

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