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Crawley to lose its ‘standalone’ Carphone warehouse with potential job losses as 531 stores close

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Carphone Warehouse has announced it is to close all of its 531 standalone stores from the 3rd April.

For Crawley this will mean the closure of the store in The Martletts. But the other site within PC World in County Oak Retail Park will remain as the firm concentrates on selling through their shop-in-shop sites.

Dixons said that almost 40% of affected colleagues are expected to take new roles in the business, and other colleagues will be fully supported.

The group added:

“Today’s announcement is an essential next step in Dixons Carphone’s turnaround of its Mobile business as part of its strategy outlined in December 2018, to return this part of the business, which will make a £90m loss this year, to profitability.

Customers are changing the way they buy mobile devices and connectivity, replacing their handsets less often and buying them separately or as part of more flexible bundles.

Customers are also increasingly choosing to shop, not only with our large and growing online business, but also in the company’s big 3-in-1 stores, featuring Currys, PCWorld and Carphone Warehouse, which continue to grow market share and where customer satisfaction is sharply up. These stores, which are 20 times larger than Carphone Warehouse standalone stores, allow customers to see, touch and play with technology (electricals as well as mobile, services as well as products) and receive trusted independent advice from 17,000 expert store colleagues, all in one place. The business has been investing tens of millions of pounds in these stores.

The group also said that it had not yet seen seen a material impact from COVID-19, though they are preparing for one.

Alex Baldock, Group Chief Executive said:

“Customers are changing how they buy technology, and Dixons Carphone must change with them. We’re underway with a fundamental transformation to do so. Today’s tough decision is an essential part of that, the next step in making our UK Mobile business a success for customers, colleagues and other shareholders. Clearly, with unsustainable losses of £90m expected this year, Mobile is currently holding back the whole business. There’s never an easy time for an announcement like this, but the turbulent times ahead only underline the importance of acting now.

I don’t underestimate how upsetting this news will be for our colleagues, and we’ll treat everyone with honesty, respect and care. We want to keep as many of our Carphone Warehouse colleagues as we can, and expect to find new roles for almost 40% of those affected. 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. We recognise our responsibilities towards our colleagues and communities, and intend to fulfil them.

But though this is by far the toughest decision we’ve had to make, it is necessary. We must follow our customers. They want help with all technology, all in one place, and this trend is only going to accelerate in a more connected 5G world.

So customers are increasingly heading, not just to our large and growing online business, but into our big stores, where they can find all the experts and tech – mobiles, computers, TVs, smart tech, appliances, gaming and all the rest – they need. But they 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.

That’s why we’re committed to our more than 300 big stores around the UK, why we’re investing tens of millions of pounds in them and in the thousands of expert colleagues who work in them. But it’s also why sadly we have to close the small stores.

We remain committed to Mobile, as we’re showing by developing a new offer for customers, retaining as many Carphone Warehouse colleagues as we can, and making Mobile a core category in our big stores and online. As such, Mobile will be part of the one, joined-up business that customers want and that’s essential for our transformation. Today’s announcement is about ensuring we’re ready for that future, and staying on track for future success.”

Business

Furniture Village opens its doors in Crawley’s County Oak Retail Park

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Crawley welcomes Furniture Village who will open a brand-new store in County Oak retail park this Boxing Day.

The new location offers a Carpetright concession, providing a one-stop-shop for customers looking to update their homes.

Visitors to the new Furniture Village store will be invited to create their ‘home in one’, by exploring collections for every room of the house, from sofas to beds to dining.

Charlie Harrison, Commercial Director at Furniture Village, comments:

“With much of the UK under lockdown, I’m delighted we’ve been able to open our new store in Crawley. County Oak is a fantastic shopping destination and the ideal choice for Furniture Village.

“It’s been a challenging year for everyone, but I am incredibly proud of the Furniture Village team which continues to offer industry-leading quality, choice and service. As well as Family Retailer of the Year, we’ve also been awarded National Bed Retailer of the Year so I’m particularly looking forward to welcoming customers to our new bed department.”

The store will see a team of 11 expert sales consultants offering valuable insights and advice to customers, all made possible thanks to enhanced Covid-19 safety measures.

These include temperature checks, PPE for all staff and hand sanitisation stations, along with an appointment booking system which can be accessed via the website.

Charlie Harrison, Commercial Director at Furniture Village, adds:

“Customer safety is still, and will continue to be, a priority for us. The feedback from all of our existing stores continues to be overwhelmingly positive, with the appointment booking system providing reassurance and exceptional service for customers.”

The store will open at 9am on Saturday 26th December 2020. Opening offers include Sale discounts of up to 50% plus an additional £50 off every £500 spent.

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