Carphone to dial back store network
Mobile phone chain Carphone Warehouse is to significantly scale back its network of standalone stores in Ireland, according to a number of sources.
The chain, which is part of Dixons Carphone, the owner of retailers including Curry and PC World, has 82 locations in Ireland at present but is expected to exit a number of shop premises, according to property sources.
Most recent accounts for Carphone Warehouse in Ireland showed it lost €12m in 2016 and that it had accumulated losses of €50m, reflecting "an ongoing competitive market place".
In a statement given to the Sunday Independent, the company said there was "no store closure programme" but that shops may be relocated to what it calls "three in one superstores", which house the Curry, PC World and Carphone Warehouse under a single roof.
A spokesman said there have been some instances "where there is a Carphone Warehouse standalone store and a three in one superstore within walking distance, with the most recent example being Carrickmines Retail Park.
"In these cases, it has made business sense to move the standalone store into the three in one superstore, while providing a better customer experience in a better environment.
"There are currently 82 Carphone Warehouse stores in shopping centres, retail parks and main streets across the country.
"Many of the rents on these retail units were negotiated over 10 years ago and are (significantly) higher than the current market average.
"Carphone Warehouse Ireland is currently in talks with certain landlords to discuss these rental agreements. We moved out of four stores in 2016 and one in 2017 following negotiations with our landlords. This is standard business practice, and these conversations are confidential due to commercial sensitivities."
Carphone Warehouse is currently selling the Irish division of ID Mobile.
Sunday Indo Business