Dixons Carphone set to close 134 stores

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Retailer said it expects to maintain current staff levels as it revealed profits of £450m for 2015

Dixons Carphone will close 134 stores as the next step in its merger process.

Dixons Group and Carphone Warehouse combined in a £3.8 billion merger in 2014, creating one of the biggest retailers on the high street.

Group CEO Seb James has now announced plans to close 134 stores, as it looks to combine the remaining Currys and PC World outlets, and add Carphone Warehouse outlets into each of them.

At the end of the process, which is due to be completed by the end of the next financial year, Dixons will own 755 Carphone Warehouse stores and 338 three-in-one Dixons stores.

James said that he did not expect the closures to result in any job losses, saying the retailer’s staff base could actually grow as a result of the changes.

Sebastian James (2) (2)“Following the merger, it has become clear to us that customers really like our fully refurbished 3-in-1 store concept, and we have decided to launch a major programme to roll this format out across the whole market and put the portfolio into its long-term state.

“This will involve merging the remaining PC World and Currys stores and inserting a Carphone Warehouse. While this will reduce our store numbers by 134, we have been doing this – on a smaller scale – for some years and are very confident that the impact on sales and colleague numbers will be neutral or better.”

£450 million profit

James said around £50 million will be invested into refitting the stores, with an additional £70 million put aside to cover shop closures.

The announcement came as Dixons Carphone unveiled a five per cent increase in sales for the 10 weeks ending January 9. Overall, the retailer said 2015 profits are expected to hit £450 million.

On Black Friday (November 30), Dixons Carphone took £140 million. Carphone Warehouse had already revealed it sold a mobile phone contract every three seconds during the sales bonanza, with particular growth online.

“I am very happy to be reporting a further year of good like-for-like growth over our peak trading period. The two-humped camel shape that emerged last year was further accentuated with an all-time record day on Black Friday and a strong promotional period after Christmas.”

Despite announcing a profit, Dixons Carphone saw its shares tumble after announcing the store closures.

The retailer saw shares fall by 1.5 per cent to 459.9p per share after Seb James revealed its plans.

 Winning Sprint

James said 2015 had been a “good year” for the retailer. On top of record sales on Black Friday, it also launched its own MVNO iD Mobile and saw its market share grow in both the Nordics and Southern Europe, where it operates a number of sub-brands including Phone House stores.

It also launched a partnership with US mobile carrier Sprint, with Carphone Warehouse outlets opened in 20 Sprint stores, under its B2B Connected World Services division. Connected World Sevrices offers Dixons Carphone services, such as retail stores, on a white label basis.

James said the trial went well and unveiled plans to expand the joint venture to over 500 stores.

He added: “It has been a busy time for Connected World Services. I am really delighted that our Sprint trial has gone so well, and we have now agreed with Sprint that the joint venture should go into full production towards its target of 500 stores.

“We have also extended our agreement with a major US manufacturer to implement honeyBee for two US networks in their retail stores.”

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