// Dixons Carphone warns that sales that have moved online will never return to bricks & mortar stores
// CEO Alex Baldock is preparing to open stores with “extreme care” amid the coronavirus lockdown
Dixons Carphone has reportedly warned that some sales that have shifted online during the coronavirus lockdown will never return to bricks-and-mortar stores.
The retailer’s chief executive Alex Baldock said he was preparing to open stores with “extreme care”.
The retailer has seen a great deal of store sales which have shifted to online, and said it was “unrealistic” to suggest that these will all return to stores, The Sunday Telegraph reported.
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Baldock said it was not a case of “flicking a switch” and customers return immediately as the reopening will be phased.
He added that the group was seeking to adapt to the permanent shift by partially allowing online customers to chat to real staff.
Dixons Carphone is preparing to join a first wave of “non-essential” retailers resuming operations with social distancing in place in the coming days and weeks.
On Saturday, DIY retailer Homebase reopened 20 of its stores as part of a trial and said it will open many more if it proves a success.
Meanwhile, Baldock said Dixons Carphone’s Nordic operations have remained open throughout the pandemic with an array of safety measures in place.
These measures include protective screens for cashiers, contactless payments and increased cleaning and hygiene.
Last month, Dixons Carphone announced the closure of all 531 standalone Carphone Warehouse stores after mobile phone sales appeared to be declining.