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Carphone Warehouse Looking to Cut 450 Jobs

Gordon Kelly


Carphone Warehouse Looking to Cut 450 Jobs

In this banker-induced-recession no one is immune...

Proving that point again this month is Carphone Warehouse which, despite the backing of co-owner US super-chain Best Buy, has placed 450 jobs at "at risk" following a comprehensive review of its operations.

According to the BBC, talks have already begun with staff at its North Acton head office and those in West London plus employees in call centres at Preston, Warrington and Wednesbury. Despite the potential reduction no actual outlets are likely to be closed and the deal to open 100 Best Buy stores across Europe by 2013 remains on course. Best Buy bought a 50 per cent stake in Carphone Warehouse's retail business last year in exchange for a sizeable $1.1bn investment.

While the news shouldn't come as a shock given the high street carnage at present Carphone has been one of the more industrious and progressive brands in recent years buying AOL UK for £370m in 2006 and becoming the only third party retailer to secure rights to sell the iPhone. Carphone also owns lousy ISP TalkTalk but it has been looking to ditch the business for some time, even if its £900m asking price now looks like fairytale pricing.

I'll put an update on this if official redundancies come about. Sadly, I suspect that's more of a when...


via BBC News


March 2, 2009, 2:44 pm

I have noticed a number of comments coming out of the mouths of TR writers, all blaming the current economic downturn on bankers. I think this is unfair. Recessions happen every few years and they are part of the natural economic cycle (despite what our PM may have claimed a while back). A recession was overdue and anyone can see that. That there are faults within the banking system is equally undeniable, and it seems that on this occasion, it was the banks that pushed the world over the brink. However, most of the people working in banking are good people working to parameters, albeit parameters which were, perhaps in hindsight, set incorrectly.

Its easy to blame the bankers for the speed and depth of the current downturn, but there are other factors which make things different this time around. Here's just two:

1) Consumer debt was at record levels before the "crisis" even started. This is the fault of all of us, including those people who idolise the latest consumer gadgets and spend money we haven't really got to buy them!

2) The level of global integration between countries is much greater going into this recession than ever before. This has intensified the effects of the downturn.

I don't really want to subvert TR into a forum for economic debate. But I do think you should cut the banking community some slack. They are amongst those most afraid of losing their jobs, but they are also amongst those with high wages and bonuses who drive demand for the kind of kit that TR loves.

And in case anybody is wondering: No, I do not work for a bank myself!


March 2, 2009, 6:05 pm

I don't think this news about CPW is unexpected. They have too many high street retail outlets, and their service is average to shocking.

Completely agree with Bluepork's comments by the way. Nobody forced people to borrow more than they should against the houses for materialistic non-tangible assets like holidays and cars.

The artificial low interest rate and 'low' inflation period has just made this recession hit a hell of a lot harder than it normally would have done.


March 2, 2009, 7:15 pm

@Bluepork - I disagree, one of my closest friends in a banker and he admits an overpaid, bonus based culture focused on recklessly giving out loans and mortgages to high risk sectors is what directly lead to the recession.

Should people have been daft enough to take them? No. But we're not talking about the upper echelons of society here, it's easy for a financial expert to mislead.

Furthermore, a lack of government guidelines has been blamed. That's like saying: "You didn't put in place enough laws to save us from ourselves so we're blaming you!"

Yes, debt was at record levels which is WHY the banking sector - as the leading financial experts - had to realise the most basic of facts: that both consumers and their own institutions were dangerously overexposed and to TAKE SOME RESPONSIBILITY in return for their huge pay packets.

Instead, the risky loans and mortgages kept on coming for the greed of hitting quotas for short term benefits and remaining safe in the knowledge that their institutions would never be allowed to go bust. Ultimately they were baled out to the tune of hundreds of billions by the tax payer, the very same group they had exploited in the first place...

Banker made recession.


March 3, 2009, 2:43 pm


I don't really disagree with anything you have said here, but I think you have missed the main point of what I was trying to say, which is:


The recession would have happened anyway


Sure, the banking system catalysed the precipitous drop, in the same way that the banking system catalysed the preceding boom, which was unprecedented in both length and size. However, the trade cycle has been supported by data for donkeys years, and explanations for the existence of such a cycle economic activity predate the phrase "credit crunch" by a very long time!

So continuously and exclusively blaming the banking community is quite simply wrong. Banker made recession? No. Banker contributed-to recession? Yes.


March 3, 2009, 9:50 pm

@Bluepork - thanks for the kind words but I disagree with your main point too.

It is the banks 'fault' the boom years were so strong - and yes I mean 'fault' because it made them artificially high. So high in fact that the subsequent fall could only be a monstrous crash, as you acknowledge.

Without the influence of the banks' reckless behaviour we may well be in an economic lull right now but certainly not a full blown recession.

A pattern of gentle economic ups and downs is unavoidable and vastly preferable to a boom and bust culture, but this is what we find ourselves in and the latest bust is down to the banks and their short term greed.


March 4, 2009, 2:15 pm


Thanks for commenting on my comment to your comment on my comment on your article! Greg, thanks for your input too.

I'm gonna leave it there. I'm sure this subject will be argued about in other places for years to come, and in far more depth than I am capable of.

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