Baldock must ‘innovate’ amid Carphone troubles

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New CEO faces challenges tenure amid difficult market, warn analysts

New Dixons Carphone CEO Alex Baldock will need “innovative new propositions” in mobile to make his tenure a success, according to analysts.

The increased popularity in SIM-only and the stagnation in mobile upgrades are two issues that analysts have identified that Dixons Carphone will need to address to grow in the current market, despite promising results over the Christmas period.

CCS Insight senior analyst Kester Mann said that although the latest results announced last week offered “some positives” for Carphone, it is not out of the woods.

He said: “Dixons had challenges last year and they’ll continue to face challenges going forward.

“Obviously the main challenge is that mobile consumers now are not upgrading their handsets as often as they used to, so in terms of new business models that’s an area to focus on.”

GfK director of technology Imran Choudhary agreed, adding that a change to the retail arm of Carphone is needed.

He said: “It’s fair to say if retailers like Carphone want to continue to be a dominant player in the market they have to look at innovative new propositions that make it easier for consumers to purchase the really premium devices that are harder to buy.”

Leverage experience

The appointment of Baldock comes after current CEO Sebastian James announced he is to step down after the financial year ends in April.

James will be joining Walgreens Boots Alliance later this year with Baldock coming in from his role as CEO of Shop Direct after over five years in the role.

Baldock is charged with transforming the Littlewoods high street retailer to Very, the second largest pure-play online retailer in the UK, delivering five years of record financial performance in that time.

Choudhary added that the appointment of Baldock is “telling” as the retailer looks to embrace the changing nature of the mobile industry.

“I think by bringing in [Baldock] they have brought in someone with a good background, who’s been successful recently, is good online and has digital transformation expertise which might be something they are looking to leverage.”

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