Dixons Carphone just announced it would be shutting down all standalone Carphone Warehouse stores across the UK. The closure goes into effect April 3, 2020, and it will leave 2,900 employees jobless. All Carphone Warehouse shops in Currys PCWorld stores will remain open, and its online business will move forward as usual.
“There is never an easy time for an announcement like this, but the turbulent times ahead only underline the importance of acting now, to ensure a business fit for the future,” said the company.
The company estimates that nearly 40% (1,800) of affected employees will take new roles internally. It is offering support to the nearly 3,000 other employees by paying enhanced redundancy and helping them find new jobs.
The closures follow Carphone Warehouse’s ongoing poor standalone store performance. The company expected financial losses to the tune of £90m (~$99m) this year alone.
“Though this is by far the toughest decision we’ve had to make, it is necessary,” said Group Chief Executive Alex Baldock. “We must follow our customers.”
Dixons Carphone claims this decision is not solely due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, though the company is trying to prepare for the pandemic’s future impact.
“To date, the Group’s trading has not been impacted materially by COVID-19,” said the company. “The turbulent times ahead underline the importance of acting now and staying on track with our longer-term omnichannel transformation of the Group. We are aware that our stores could experience a significant reduction in sales in the months ahead and we are modelling a range of downside scenarios and planning accordingly…As always, our first concern is the wellbeing of our colleagues and our customers.”