In Brief

Dixons Carphone to lose 134 stores but keep staff

Next phase of merger plans will see company create three-in-one superstores

Technology and appliances retailer Dixons Carphone has announced a new phase in plans to integrate its various brands that will result in 134 stores closing – but no staff cuts.

Rather than simply slimming down, the plans reflect the company consolidating more of its individual Currys, PC World and Carphone Warehouse outlets into larger three-in-one superstores. The company said it has "been doing this - on a smaller scale - for some years" and that it would eventually boost overall profits.

"The move allows the enlarged firm to trim its less profitable stores - taking its UK store base from 402 to 323," says Sky News. "About £50m will be invested in refitting the stores and there will be a £70m provision to cover shop closures and other costs," adds the BBC, but the company "expects the changes to result in an extra £20m-a-year profit from 2017 onwards".

Group chief executive Seb James said: "We are very confident that the impact on sales and colleague numbers will be neutral or better. When we build one beautiful, refitted new three-in-one superstore and we have one great Carphone Warehouse in town... sales go up and also we end up usually needing more colleagues to work on the shop floor."

The plans were announced on the day the company, which was created from the merger in 2014 of Dixons Retail and Carphone Warehouse, reported Christmas trading figures that were described by Andrew Stevens, senior analyst at Verdict Retail, as "stellar". Like-for-like sales rose five per cent over the ten weeks to 9 January, while on Black Friday the group took £140m after a surge in online sales.

Dixons Carphone shares were down 2.7 per cent this afternoon to 455p. FastFT notes they had hit an all-time high before Christmas of 500p.

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