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Carphone Warehouse to shut 92 stores as High Street pain continues

Library image of a Carphone Warehouse branch  Photo: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire
Library image of a Carphone Warehouse branch Photo: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire
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Nearly 100 Carphone Warehouse stores are to close this year as the retailer’s new boss pledged to “take action” to tackle challenges in the mobile phone market.

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

Hard-pressed consumers are holding on to older devices for longer and going “Sim-only”, which have affected 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 3% in the year to April 16, while like for like sales were up 4%.

In the UK, comparable revenue grew 2% and was up 1% in the fourth quarter.

Growth was propped up by better sales in the international division, with like for like sales in the Nordics up 9% in the year and Greece up 11%.

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