UK electricals retailer Dixons Carphone on Tuesday said it would axe 2,900 jobs, blaming changed consumer behaviour for shutting mobile phone shops as it awaits “turbulent times” over the coronavirus.
Dixons Carphone, formed in 2014 through the merger of electrical goods retailer Dixons and mobile telecoms group Carphone Warehouse, said it would close all 531 mobile phone stores on April 3.
The group will in future sell mobile phones online and across its 305 Currys PCWorld branches that sell multiple electrical goods.
The group said the announcement was essential to return the mobile phone division to profitability, with it set to make a loss of £90 million ($109 million, 99 million euros) this year.
“Customers are changing the way they buy mobile devices and connectivity, replacing their handsets less often and buying them separately or as part of more flexible bundles,” Dixons Carphone added.
The company said 2,900 jobs would be lost, while about 1,800 other staff affected by the closures would be offered roles elsewhere within the group.
“There’s never an easy time for an announcement like this, but the turbulent times ahead only underline the importance of acting now,” said Dixons Carphone chief executive Alex Baldock.
The group said it had not yet seen a large hit from the coronavirus crisis, apart from supply issues, but is bracing for one.
“The COVID-19 situation continues to evolve quickly and at this time its future impact is difficult to assess,” it said.
“As always, our first concern is the wellbeing of our colleagues and our customers; we have already taken actions to protect them and are prioritising their safety.
“To date, the group’s trading has not been impacted materially by COVID-19,” Dixons Carphone added.
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