PC World parent to axe more than 130 stores

PC World and Currys branches will be relaunched to include Carphone Warehouse
PC World and Currys branches will be relaunched to include Carphone Warehouse
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Retail giant Dixons Carphone is to shut more than 130 stores under plans to roll out electrical superstores merging its three main brands across the UK and Ireland.

The group said it will overhaul all its PC World and Currys stores to relaunch as so-called three-in-one stores, combining PC World, Currys and Carphone Warehouse over the next year and a half.

It will close 134 stores as part of the revamp, but Dixons Carphone said it will relocate all staff impacted to nearby superstores.

Details of the changes came as the group hailed a “strong” performance over Christmas and edged its annual profit outlook higher.

READ MORE: Dixons Carphone enjoy boost thanks to strong sales

It said UK and Ireland like-for-like sales lifted by 5 per cent in the ten weeks to 9 January, with the strongest trading day in its history on Black Friday in November and a good start to the clearance sales on Boxing Day.

The group – created following the £3.9 billion merger of Dixons and Carphone Warehouse in the summer of 2014 – now expects to post pre-tax profits of between £440 million and £450m for the 12 months to May, against £381m the previous year.

Finance director Humphrey Singer said: “We had a fantastic Christmas. We had a record Black Friday and our meticulous planning for the period has paid off.”

Dixons Carphone will see its store numbers reduce to 323 in the UK from 402 and to 15 in Ireland from 27, while it is also cutting the number of standalone Carphone Warehouse mobile stores to 684 from 723 in the UK.

It said that despite the closures, it still aims to have the vast majority of the population within 20 minutes’ drive of one of its superstores.

The overhaul will take place in its next financial year, starting in May, and will cost £50m to refit, with another £70m to cover additional costs. But Dixons Carphone said the plans should boost annual earnings by about £20m.

Seb James, group chief executive, said: “Following the merger, it has become clear to us that customers really like our fully refurbished three-in-one store concept.”

It has already rolled out a raft of three-in-one stores since the merger in 2014. The merger is expected to provide an £80m financial boost from additional sales and lower costs, with savings of £40m expected in this financial year alone.