Dixons Carphone will replace Phones 4u’s 159 concessions in Currys/PC World stores with 190 Carphone Warehouse store-within-stores before Christmas, and take over a number of Phones 4u high street stores in a major push aimed at grabbing the lion’s share of Phones 4u’s 5.4m customers.
The retailer is accelerating the rollout of its Carphone Warehouse store-within-stores in the wake of Phones 4u’s demise with plans to convert all 159 Phones 4u concessions at its megastores to Carphone Warehouse store-within-stores by the end of this month. It also plans to open another 30 store-within-stores before Christmas and is set to launch a major digital marketing campaign targeting Phones 4u’s youth market.
By October next year Dixons Carphone plans to have a Carphone Warehouse store-within-store in 380 megastores. The company will also add some of Phones 4u’s high street stores to its portfolio.
Speaking at a strategy day last week, Carphone Warehouse CEO Graham Stapleton said Carphone Warehouse store-within-stores were already delivering significant results, with post-paid sales rising 75% above those in its former Phones 4u concessions.
He added: ‘These stores are performing well above what we expected – we are seeing seven times the number of referrals from other parts of the stores into our store-within-stores because we are now working together as one team.’
Phones 4u’s demise has opened up ‘huge opportunites’ for Dixons Carphone, Stapleton said, prompting the company to accelerate its store-within-store programme and triggering a major recruitment programme targeting ‘the very best Phones 4u talent’.
Dixons Carphone has so far taken on 500 former Phones 4u staff and transferred 800 staff from Phones 4u’s 159 concessions within Currys/PC World stores.
However, the recruitment programme could see a cull of some Dixons Carphone staff. Stapleton said: ‘Being able to bring in the very best of Phones 4u and move out the poor performers in (the) business means we can raise the bar on our selling.’
The company will also take on Phones 4u stores and relocate existing Carphone Warehouse high street stores. Stapleton said: ‘It is not likely to be a very big net increase in stores but it gives us the opportunity to have a better mix.’
Dixons Carphone is also targeting Phones 4u’s 2.4m annual connections, Stapleton said, by emphasising its role as the only major high street independent and by launching a digital marketing campaign aimed at Phones 4u’s youth segment.
Stapleton said Dixons Carphone has strong partnerships with the networks, inking ‘long-term, multi-year agreements with all major operators’. He added: ‘We have 120 locations in the Carphone Warehouse business that don’t have a network store nearby. If you add the 300-plus Carphone Warehouse store-within-stores to that number we have several hundred locations that give the networks the opportunity to fill in the white spaces.’