Mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse has announced the closure of retail stores across the UK. This will reportedly affect 531 Carphone Warehouse stores across the country, with job losses unfortunately expected.
The closures apparently come as a response to the changing mobile phone market.
Carphone Warehouse group CEO Alex Babcock explained that a shift towards online purchases in the mobile phone market has led to the downsizing of retail units.
“[Customers] can’t find all this in the small mobile-only stores that are one-twentieth of the size; they’re visiting these less and these stores are losing more money as a result.”
And with the reduced number of Carphone Warehouse stores on the high street, it looks as though local phone repair companies will be picking up the slack.
Essentially, Carphone Warehouse’s stand-alone stores will be closed while their kiosks in larger Currys PC World stores will remain open for business. The larger stores are said to have been left relatively unaffected by these changes, with more customers opting to shop for mobile phones in these larger retail units.
Previously, the stand-alone stores accounted for 8% of the company’s retail space.
It’s also reported that these store closures will result in the loss of 2,900 jobs across the UK. Carphone Warehouse stores in Ireland will remain open, and the group’s international stores will also remain unaffected.
What if you’ve recently taken out a contract via Carphone Warehouse?
The retail group explains that customer contracts will not be affected by these closures. Carphone Warehouse also announced they will be rolling out new contract bundles as a response to mobile phone owners replacing their handsets less often.
“There’s never an easy time for an announcement like this,” said Mr Babcock. “But the turbulent times ahead only underline the importance of acting now.
“We’re working hard to look after those colleagues we can’t find new roles for, financially and otherwise.
“We’ll pay enhanced redundancy, any bonuses, honour their share awards, and help them find new jobs through an outplacement programme.”