Dixons Carphone will close 134 stores as it revamps its UK and Ireland estate.
The group intends to roll out a “3-in-1 store concept”, which will involve merging its remaining PC World stores with Currys and inserting a Carphone Warehouse into those outlets.
Dixons said that, while its number of stores in the UK and Ireland will reduce, it has already been testing the new format and is “very confident that the impact on sales and colleague numbers will be neutral or better”. As a result, job losses will not be made, the group stressed.
The overhaul was announced off the back of a prediction-beating 5% increase in like-for-like revenues over the Christmas trading period, driven by strong sales around Black Friday and post-Christmas.
Seb James, Group Chief Exec, said that Black Friday had created a “two-humped camel shape” for trading over the festive season – an analogy for the sale peaks around both Black Friday and after Christmas Day.
“I am very happy to be reporting a further year of good like-for-like growth over our peak trading period,” he commented. “In all territories we saw continued market share gain, especially in UK mobile. Once again, customer satisfaction metrics moved forward year-on-year as did price competitiveness.”
Where retailers either went all in or opted out of the Black Friday bonanza, Black Friday was the biggest ever trading day for Dixons Carphone.
“The role of Black Friday has fundamentally changed how electronic specialists are tackling the important Christmas trade,” commented Simon Johnstone, Senior Analyst at Kantar Retail.
“Whilst rival Argos struggled to maintain any balance over Christmas, Dixons Carphone has excelled. This success is down to its decision to reset the business to win on both Black Friday and Boxing Day and an ability to differentiate between consumers – those that use the products – and shoppers – those that buy for others to use. With promotions, marketing and stores geared up to drive gift purchases on a record Black Friday, Dixons Carphone were still able to perform strongly on Boxing Day by increasing promotional activity on more relevant categories such as soundbars, televisions and home electricals, to drive self-purchases. The further roll out of its 3-in-1 concept in the year shows shoppers remain at the heart of all decision making, a prerequisite for any retailer wanting to win in the age of shopper first.”