On March 17, Dixons Carphone Group, owners of the Carphone Warehouse brand, announced that it would be closing the chain’s 531 standalone UK stores and laying off approximately 2900 staff.
The decision comes after news that the group expects an estimated £90m loss this financial year, brought about in part by a change in consumer buying habits in the phone market. The Group explicitly stated that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic hasn’t directly had an impact on its business as of yet.
The company plans to close its 531 dedicated Carphone Warehouse stores across the UK by April 3 2020 (the 70 stores and the wider business in the Republic of Ireland will remain unaffected) and hopes to absorb up to 40% (approximately 1900) of the displaced staff into larger Currys PCWorld stores, where internal Carphone Warehouse sites (pictured above) will continue to operate.
To the remaining 2900 staff who are unable to find a place within the Group’s wider infrastructure, Chief Executive, Alex Baldock stated, “we’ll pay enhanced redundancy, any bonuses, honour their share awards, and help them find new jobs through an outplacement programme.”
To incentivise customers during this transitionary time, Dixons Carphone Group has confirmed that it will be offering 25% off mobile accessories from Carphone Warehouse sites inside its 300+ large Currys PCWorld stores across the UK, as well as £75-off vouchers towards any handset contract for those approaching their upgrade window.
Customers will still be able to buy phones and plans from the Carphone Warehouse website, while the company continues to see growth in its big Currys PCWorld stores, which are approximately 20 times the size of the standalone mobile-only stores and cover a far greater number of technology product categories and offer additional support services too.