CARPHONE Warehouse will close all of its 531 standalone stores next month, in a move that will lead to 2,900 job losses.
The store closures are part of a plan to turn around the retailer's mobile business, its parent company Dixons Carphone said.
The retailer expects another 1,800 staff affected by the store closures to be able to find new jobs within the business.
There are Carphone Warehouse shops inside 305 big PC World and Curry's stores, and these won't be affected by the changes.
Carphone Warehouse said customers will be be able to go to the big stores for service while mobile offers will still be available online and the carphonewarehouse.com site will remain open.
The standalone stores, which represent 8 per cent of Dixons Carphone’s total selling space in the UK, will close on April 3.
Your rights if you're made redundant
IF you're being made redundant, you may be eligible for the below, according to GOV.UK.
- Redundancy pay: If you've been working for your current employer for at least two years, you're usually entitled to a statutory redundancy pay.
- A notice period: According to redundancy law, you’re entitled to a minimum notice period of 12 weeks’ if employed for 12 years or more, at least one week’s notice if you have been employed between one month and two years, or one week’s notice for each year if employed between two and 12 years. If your employer doesn’t want you to work your notice period they can offer you a lump sum instead.
- A consultation with your employer: Employers always have to consult with employees before dismissing them on the grounds of redundancy. In short, your employer must tell you what’s going on and give you a chance to ask questions and raise objections.
- The option to move into a different job: Your employer might offer you "suitable alternative employment" within your organisation or an associated company. Keep in mind that you may lose your right to statutory redundancy pay if you unreasonably turn it down.
- Time off to find a new job: If you’ve been continuously employed for two years, you could be given a reasonable amount of time off to look for another job or to arrange training to help you find another job.
The group's 70 Carphone Warehouse stores in Ireland will remain open and its international operations are unaffected.
Chief executive Alex Baldock said the move comes as customers are increasingly buying online and from its big stores which sell computers and TVs as well as mobiles.
The aim is to return this side of the business, which will lose £90million this year, to profitability.
The news is another blow to the struggling high street, which saw department store chain Beales go into administration in January, putting 23 stores and 1,052 jobs at risk.
In November, Mothercare also collapsed into administration after 58 years on the high street, putting 2,500 jobs at risk.
Mr Baldock said: "There's never an easy time for an announcement like this, but the turbulent times ahead only underline the importance of acting now.
"We’re working hard to look after those colleagues we can’t find new roles for, financially and otherwise.
"We’ll pay enhanced redundancy, any bonuses, honour their share awards, and help them find new jobs through an outplacement programme."
Trouble on the high street recently
CARPHONE Warehouse isn't the only retailer to have struggled recently.
In 2019 and so far in 2020 we've also seen:
- Debenhams axe 22 of its 50 branches
- Forever21 close 350 stores with its UK branches also at risk
- Jamie Oliver's "Jamie's Italian" chain go bust, alongside his Fifteen and Barbecoa restaurants
- Links of London go into administration putting 350 jobs at risk
- Marks and Spencer close 35 more stores as it pushes forward with plans to axe 145 shops across the UK
- Dozens of Monsoon and Accessorize stores close
- While struggling shoe shop Office has said it "could close shops" as part of restructuring plans
- Fears Pizza Express could be next to go into administration as it "brings in emergency advisers"
- Hairdressing chain Supercuts went into administration in October putting 1,200 jobs and 220 salons at risk
- Maternity and baby retailer Mothercare collapsed into administration in November after 58 years on the high street, putting 2,500 jobs at risk
- Department store chain Beales went into administration in January 2020 with 23 shops and 1,052 jobs at risk
- High end fashion brand Ted Baker said it plans to axe 160 jobs in February
In 2018, Carphone Warehouse shut 100 stores as it grappled with changing consumer habits.
Last year, it was then fined over £29million for mis-selling phone insurance.
And as recently as January, Dixons Carphone was fined £500,000 after hackers targeted 14million customers following a data breach.
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