Wigan stores escape Carphone Warehouse axe

The Carphone Warehouse store at Robin Retail Park
The Carphone Warehouse store at Robin Retail Park

Nearly 100 Carphone Warehouse stores are to close this year although the two Wigan stores aren't affected.

Dixons Carphone said that it will shut 92 Carphone Warehouse standalone stores this year as it grapples with changing consumer habits.

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However a spokesman for the stores at Robin Retail Park and the Grand Arcade shopping centre said they would definitely not be closing.

Hard-pressed consumers are holding on to older devices for longer and going "sim-only", which have dented the group's performance.

However, the firm insisted that no jobs will be lost as staff will be offered the chance to move to larger outlets nearby.

New boss Alex Baldock, who replaced the long-standing Seb James earlier this year, said: "Right now, with our international business in good shape, we're focusing early action on the UK.

"In electricals, we're focused on gross margin recovery. In mobile, we're stabilising our performance through improvements to our proposition and network agreements.

"In both, we'll work hard to improve our cost efficiency. We won't tolerate our current performance in mobile, or as a group. We know we can do a lot better."

The store closures will add to the pain on the high street, with Dixons Carphone adding its name to the long list of retailers - Carpetright, Mothercare, Byron and others - to have shuttered outlets in the face of falling consumer confidence.

Mr Baldock added that he is renegotiating contracts at Carphone Warehouse with the aim of "improving our business model", while also pointing to a difficult electricals market.

Dixons Carphone made the announcement alongside a trading update in which it said total revenue rose three per cent in the year to April 16, while like for like sales were up by four per cent.

In the UK, comparable revenue grew by two per cent and was up by one per cent in the fourth quarter.

Growth was propped up by better sales in the international division, with like for like sales in the Nordics up nine per cent in the year and Greece up 11 per cent.

Dixons Carphone added that full year pre-tax profit is expected to come in at £382 million, down from £501 million in 2017.