// Dixons Carphone’s online sales offsets loss made from closed stores due to Covid-19 lockdown
// The electricals retailer cancelled its full-year dividend for shareholders
// Online channels saw a colossal 166% sales growth
Dixons Carphone has said its online sales in the UK and Ireland have recovered around two-thirds of sales lost to store closures due to the coronavirus lockdown.
The electricals retailer cancelled its full-year dividend for shareholders and has released a trading update ahead of publishing its full year results.
In the five weeks to April 25, online channels saw a colossal 166 per cent sales growth, compared to a 23 per cent growth in the 11 weeks to March 21.
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Dixons Carphone closed 531 stores due to the lockdown.
It said it would have expected its stores in the UK, Ireland and Greece to have contributed some £400 million in sales for the financial year.
However, its online business has “maintained our unambiguous price promise, continued investment in delivery and carried on growing our range for customers”.
The retailer said it adjusted shift patterns for online staff to “keep colleagues in the same pairs and vehicles wherever possible”.
Staff have also been provided with masks and safety equipment and deliveries have been undertaken on a “no-contact basis”.
Dixons Carphone also extended its debt facilities with its lenders by £266 million and now has access to over £1.3 billion in borrowing.
These added borrowing facilities means Dixons Carphone is in “a robust position”.
“We expect to comply fully with bank covenants unless substantially all of our operations are required to close for an extended period” the retailer said.
Chief executive Alex Baldock said: “I’m humbled by the speed and skill with which thousands of our colleagues have reacted to this crisis in safely helping millions of customers and securing the business’s future. I can’t thank them enough.
“We’re setting new social distancing and hygiene standards that allow us to provide vital help to customers through the lockdown, to keep them connected with loved ones, their families fed, clean and entertained, work from home and home-school the kids.
“We’ve given extra help to vulnerable older people, in partnership with Age UK, and prioritised the NHS.
“We’re being prudent in conserving cash, have secured additional funding, and can plan for the future with confidence.”
On Sunday, Baldock warned that some sales that have shifted online during the lockdown will never return to bricks-and-mortar stores.
He 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 would all return to stores.