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Carphone Warehouse closes all standalone UK retail outlets

Carphone Warehouse’s UK retail outlets are set to close, putting thousands of jobs at risk and shaking up the UK’s mobile phone market.

All of Carphone Warehouse’s standalone retail outlets are set to close on April 3, 2020, in a move that parent company Dixons Carphone has admitted will cause 2,900 redundancies (approximately 60% of the workforce). The brand will still exist in the form of small outlets within 305 Currys PC World outlets, and it will also still remain as a retail website.

The physical stores that will close currently account for 8% of Dixons Carphone’s retail space, and their closure will no doubt prompt yet more questions about the future of the UK’s high street. The move is understandable from a business perspective, since Dixons Carphone’s mobile retail business is expected to make a £90 million loss this year, but that will come as little consolation for near-three thousand workers made redundant.

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Alex Baldock, the Group Chief Executive, explained the move:

“Customers are changing how they buy technology, and Dixons Carphone must change with them. We’re underway with a fundamental transformation to do so… customers are increasingly heading, not just to our large and growing online business, but into our big stores, where they can find all the experts and tech – mobiles, computers, TVs, smart tech, appliances, gaming and all the rest – they need.

“But they can’t find all this in the small mobile-only stores that are one twentieth of the size; they’re visiting these less and these stores are losing more money as a result. That’s why we’re committed to our more than 300 big stores around the UK, why we’re investing tens of millions of pounds in them and in the thousands of expert colleagues who work in them. But it’s also why sadly we have to close the small stores.”

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In a statement to Trusted Reviews, a spokesperson said:

“As you may have heard this morning, we’ve announced that Carphone Warehouse will be closing its standalone stores. This doesn’t affect the 300+ stores that exist within Currys stores, and more importantly, has no impact on Online, B2B, telesales or our Republic of Ireland stores. Online remains an integral channel and we are more committed than ever to provide our customers with fantastic tech, great prices and amazing customer service.”

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Carphone Warehouse was founded back in 1989 (when “carphones” were actually a thing), and it rapidly expanded in the early 2000s before merging with Dixons in 2014. Though the brand seems set to fade into obscurity now as its high street presence diminishes, many of us will still remember it fondly for its deeply-held values in the face of the Big Brother racism scandal of 2007…

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