Carphone Warehouse to close all standalone stores at cost of 2,900 jobs

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Woman walks past Carphone Warehouse storeCarphone Warehouse is to close all its 531 standalone stores on 3 April, resulting in 2,900 redundancies.The firm says the move is not related to the coronavirus outbreak, but was because of the changing mobile market.The mobile phone retailer has shops inside 305 big PC World and Curry’s stores and these will not be affected by the changes.Almost 40% of staff (1,800) affected by the closures are expected to take new roles in the business, the firm said.Group chief executive Alex Baldock said customers were increasingly buying online and from its big stores – which sell computers and TVs as well as mobiles – instead of its smaller, standalone mobile shops.“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,” he added.‘Essential next step’The company’s standalone stores represent 8% of Dixons Carphone’s total UK selling space.It says the move is “an essential next step” in turning around its mobile business as part of a strategy outlined in December 2018.The aim is to return this side of the business, which will lose £90m this year, to profitability.
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  • Talking about the job losses, Mr Baldock added: “I don’t underestimate how upsetting this news will be for our colleagues, and we’ll treat everyone with honesty, respect and care.“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.”Speaking to the BBC’s Today programme, he emphasised the decision was nothing to do with the coronavirus outbreak.“The coronavirus and uncertain outlook ahead has underlined the importance of acting decisively, but no, the driver here is what we’re seeing from customers,” he said.“We have to take the difficult decisions to throw our weight behind the parts of the business that the customers are showing us they want… that’s with the big stores and that’s online.”

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