4/23/2009 12:35:00 PM
Carphone and Best Buy lean on landlords ahead of 2010 Big Box launch
Carphone Warehouse and its partner Best Buy are looking at capitalising on cheap leases to secure a range of sites in southern England and Wales.
The move comes as the partners restart plans to open ‘Big Box’ out of town stores to take on Comet and Curry’s.
The original plan was to open the first stores this summer, but that has now been delayed until next spring due to the slow consumer market.
Locations for the 30,000 to 50,000 sq ft stores include Southampton, Lakeside shopping centre in Essex, Bristol, Cardiff, Swansea, Ipswich and Crawley.
With retailers going bust or struggling to meet leases, many landlords appear keen to lure Best Buy and the footfall that the stores are expected to generate, onto their estates.
Reports claimed that incentive packages worth between £500,000 and £2m were being used to tempt Best Buy onto retailer’s sites.
The large stores will sell electrical goods from phones to TVs, DVD players, PCs and home entertainment goods by focusing on service and sales advice, and will challenge incumbents Curry’s and Comet.
The retailer will bide its time by increasing the product range in some of Carphone’s existing stores, using the Wireless World format that is currently being trialled in a handful of stores.
Best Buy, which paid £1.1bn for a 50% stake in Carphone’s retail arm in May 2008, issued a profit warning last November.
A spokesman said it was yet to sign any agreements.