All 531 stand-alone Carphone Warehouse stores in the UK are to close in April, with the loss of 2,900 jobs.
The announcement, made today by parent company Dixons Carphone, said it was closing the stores in response to changes in the way consumers buy mobile devices and customers replacing their handsets less often. It expects to make a £90 million loss this year.
Redundancy and outplacement
Dixons Carphone said it would go “well beyond” its legal obligations in supporting employees who would be made redundant, by paying enhanced redundancy pay and honouring any bonuses and share awards. It will also help find alternative employment for them via an outplacement scheme.
Almost 40% (1,800) of the affected staff will be given alternative roles at its “shop-in-shops” in 305 Currys PCWorld stores and online. Around 17,000 people are employed at Currys PCWorld.
Its international operations, including 70 Carphone Warehouse stores in the Republic of Ireland, will be unaffected.
Group chief executive Alex Bladock said: “There’s never an easy time for an announcement like this, but the turbulent times ahead only underline the importance of acting now.
“I don’t underestimate how upsetting this news will be for our colleagues, and we’ll treat everyone with honesty, respect and care. We want to keep as many of our Carphone Warehouse colleagues as we can, and expect to find new roles for almost 40% of those affected.
“We’re working hard to look after those colleagues we can’t find new roles for, financially and otherwise. We’ll pay enhanced redundancy, any bonuses, honour their share awards, and help them find new jobs through an outplacement programme. We recognise our responsibilities towards our colleagues and communities, and intend to fulfil them.”
Dixons Carphone said the announcement was not linked to the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak, but noted that its future impact on the business was “difficult to assess”.
“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,” the company said.