Carphone Warehouse is set to roll out store-in store concessions in 300 Currys/PC world megastores across the UK following the £3.8bn merger of Dixons Retail and Carphone Warehouse.
The news comes as Dixons Retail and Carphone Warehouse confirmed today that the merger of the two companies will go ahead and be completed this August.
Carphone Warehouse will begin the roll out of its instore concessions at Dixons Retail’s Currys/PC World megastores immediately after the merger is formalised in August.
The retailer will also take over the concessions currently run by Phones 4u in 160 Currys/PC World stores, when Phones 4u’s contract with Dixons Retail ends next May.
Job losses are also on the cards in both companies over the next three years where back office and administrative roles are duplicated but there are no estimations as yet of how many staff will be affected. There are no plans for staff redundancies at Carphone Warehouse stores, the retailer said.
However Dixons Retail will continue its reduction of its trading estate, which was begun last year, with plans to reduce the number of Currys and PC World stores from 500 to 380 largely by combining both stores where they are located on the same trading estate.
A Carphone Warehouse spokeswoman insisted there were no plans to cut Carphone Warehouse store numbers but confirmed job losses in back office roles are on the cards. She said: ‘We genuinely don’t expect to be closing any Carphone Warehouse stores as a result of the merger. However where some back offie and head office roles overlap there will be cuts. We can’t pretend there won’t be any job losses but we don’t expect huge numbers and as it will take place over the course of three years we are taking into account natural attrition rates.’
She added that there was a possibility where Carphone Warehouse and Currys/PC World stores are in the same location, such as Staples Corner in London, that the two stores would be merged.
She added that jobs would be created by the roll out of the store-in-store concessions which Carphone Warehouse plan to roll out as soon as the merger is formalised. She added that the retailer hoped to have some of the concessions up and running by Christmas.
The new company will be dubbed Dixons Carphone but the Carphone Warehouse, Currys and PC World brands will remain for the foreseeable future, the Carphone Warehouse spokeswoman said.
Meanwhile Sebastian James, the CEO of the newly merged company, said the merger was aimed at capitalising on the growing connected devices market which he said ‘now exceeds the number of people on the planet.’
Speaking to Radio Four’s Today programme, James added: ‘Over the next four or five years there will be 75 billion new connected devices coming onto market. We sell these devices and Carphone connects them. Together we can tell an extraordinary story for our customers.’
He said the merger was driven by the central role mobile phones will increasingly play in the connected market.
‘People increasingly want to operate their home audio systems, their TVs, their security systems and their heating systems when they are away from home down some sort of connected network be that Wi-Fi or mobile and the remote control for their lives has become the telephone and we need to be part of that story.’
Asked if the merger would result in store closures, James said there were no plans for closures of big stores ‘at the moment.’
Asked if store closures were a logical outcome of the merger he said: ‘We don’t think so because we do very different things. In our big box stores our job is to give customers a chance to see and get demonstrations of and have conversations about all of that stuff that people are buying. In our smaller stores really the conversation is about mobile phones.’
He added: ‘And now we hope we can make our stores in the high street very useful to our big box customers. We can get things delivered there and do a click and collect across our estate of nearly 3,000 stores across Europe. People can pick up stuff they bought in our other shops or on the internet but our plan at the moment is not to have big store closures.’