Carphone Warehouse axes nearly 3,000 jobs with closure of mobile phone-only outlets

Carphone Warehouse in Ipswich

Carphone Warehouse in Ipswich - Credit: Archant

Carphone Warehouse – which has stores across Suffolk and Essex – is set to close all 531 of its standalone mobile phone outlets across the UK.

The group is set to shut the mobile-only shops - which make up around 8% of its selling space - on April 3. Its plan now is to sell mobile phones solely in 305 combined Currys PC World stores and online.

The chain, which has shops in Ipswich, Stowmarket, Bury St Edmunds, Clacton-on-Sea, Colchester, Felixstowe and Lowestoft, said it expects to make 2,900 redundancies but almost 1,800 affected staff will get new roles within the business.

MORE – Support network goes live in bid to offer advice and help small firms feel less isolatedIt expects to make 2,900 redundancies, but said almost 1,800 affected staff are set to take new roles elsewhere in the business.

Its 70 Carphone Warehouse stores in Ireland will stay open and international operations are unaffected.

The move is “essential” to help turn around its UK mobile arm, which is set to make a £90m loss this year, it said.

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Carphone Warehouse chief executive Alex Baldock said: “There’s never an easy time for an announcement like this, but the turbulent times ahead only underline the importance of acting now.”

He added: “We’re working hard to look after those colleagues we can’t find new roles for, financially and otherwise.

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“We’ll pay enhanced redundancy, any bonuses, honour their share awards, and help them find new jobs through an outplacement programme.”

Dixons Carphone said it had not yet seen a large hit from the coronavirus crisis apart from supply issues, but was “preparing for one”.

But its 29 travel stores are being badly affected by the outbreak as passenger numbers plummet, and it expects profits from that division to take a £5m hit.

The firm said it had also seen a “notable” rise in demand for fridges and freezers, small domestic appliances and laptops as people prepare for home working and potential self-isolation.

Dixons Carphone said: “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.

“We are ready to switch more fulfilment to our online and direct channels and we will manage our costs and cash closely, including a tight control of capital expenditure if necessary.”

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