// Dixons Carphone closes down all airport stores after VAT-free shopping for overseas tourists was scrapped
// The group faced difficulties at Dixons Travel, which comprises 35 stores
// The firm had shops closed for most of the period due to the latest national lockdown
Dixons Carphone has made the decision to shutter its airport stores business, just months after a scheme offering duty-free shopping for international tourists was scrapped.
The retailer which was created through a £3.6 billion merger between Dixons Retail and Carphone Warehouse in 2014, said group sales have improved during the pandemic.
However, the group has faced difficulties at Dixons Travel, which comprises 35 stores, including eight at Heathrow and four at Gatwick.
“We do not expect passenger numbers to recover sufficiently to compensate for the removal of airside tax-free shopping by the UK government from January 1,” Dixons Carphone said.
“This has led to the difficult decision to close this business, which historically made an annual profit contribution of over £20 million.”
Dixons Carphone also said affected employees will be offered roles elsewhere in the company.
Elsewhere at the group, which trades as Currys PC World in the UK and Ireland, online growth has been strong, with sales more than doubling to £4.5 billion for the year.
UK and Ireland comparable sales growth rose 11 per cent in the 25 weeks to April 24 and 13 per cent in the 51 weeks to April 24.
The firm had shops closed for most of the period due to the latest national lockdown.
Dixons Carphone said that given its strong financial position, it repaid £73 million of furlough money.