Independent retailer Go Mobile has shut 15 shops and set its 58 remaining outlets a stretching profitability target to remain open.
Managing director Iain Humphrey held meetings with management this week to announce the closures and around 20 redundancies. He also made clear unprofitable shops will not be retained for the sake of store numbers.
Humphrey has set each remaining Go Mobile outlet, including 24 newly-acquired Intek stores, a target of £11,500 gross profit for February.
He will review again the Go Mobile estate on February’s performance to rule on the future of remaining outlets.
Humphrey said he has taken the opportunity in the early part of 2010 to clear the decks at Go Mobile and to rid the operation of shops that are not making money.
He said plans for the chain to expand to 100 shops remain, but will only be realised if its constituent parts contribute to the group’s bottom line.
“I am not looking to shut shops, but I see no reason to retain stores that do not make money. I looked back over trading figures for last year, and took a decision on those that had not been profitable in the period and dragged down average profitability for the chain,” said Humphrey.
“The size of the estate is of little consequence to me provided it is making a profit. I’m not interested in 100 stores just for the sake of it. They must be profitable.”
The closed Go Mobile shops are in York, Ripley, Leicester, Ilkeston, Newark, Chesterfield, Belper, Louth, Richmond, Atherstone, Bridlington, Hull, Shipley, Lutterworth and Knaresborough.
Go Mobile remains on target to have opened 10 of its stores as Orange franchises this quarter.