Dixons Carphone will close its stores in airports, betting that a travel recovery won't bring enough customers to make up for a UK decision to end tax-free shopping. The electronics and mobile phone retailer operates 35 Dixons Travel stores in the UK and the Republic, the majority of which are located at Heathrow Airport in London. It has a store at Dublin Airport and another at Belfast International Airport.
A familiar sight for travellers looking to buy chargers and headphones at the last minute, the stores contributed about £20 million pounds (€23 million) to annual profit.
Dixons, the owner of Currys PCWorld, unveiled the plan as it reported a 14 per cent spurt in like-for-like sales growth in the fiscal year ended April 24th. The uplift was fuelled by online shopping during the pandemic as consumers snapped up Xboxes, TVs and laptops, helping the retailer weather forced store closures better than others.
The announcement comes as the pandemic adds to the job-loss toll in the retail sector, although the company said employees of the travel stores will be offered jobs elsewhere in the business.
Dixons Carphone was created through a merger of electronics retailer Dixons and the Carphone Warehouse mobile chain. Carphone Warehouse is also planning to close its Irish stores, with close to 500 jobs to be lost. – Bloomberg