Dixons Carphone is set to cut 800 roles at the company as it looks to further integrate its retail and online operations.
The company says it is streamlining its store management structure so that senior leaders work across the electrical and mobile divisions and focus on customer experience – regardless of the channel in question.
Accordingly, positions such as retail manager and assistant manager will be replaced by new roles like sales manager, customer experience manager and operational excellence manager.
CEO Alex Baldock has put an omnichannel strategy at the heart of his transformation programme, which saw all 531 standalone Carphone Warehouse stores shut their doors earlier this year as resources were shifted to larger ‘3-in-1’ locations and online.
Dixons Carphone is the UK’s latest mobile phone retailer but has struggled to cope with changing consumer habits. A saturated market and longer refresh cycles are lowering contract renewal rates, making SIM-Only tariffs and SIM-free handsets more popular, squeezing margins.
Mobile sales fell by a fifth last year but the company says the closure of the Carphone Warehouse stores was a significant step forward to the elimination of mobile losses. It said the smaller outlets could not meet the changing demand of consumers who would be better served by its larger stores and online platforms.
The shift to online has been accelerated by the Coronavirus pandemic, with sales of electrical goods increasing during lockdown. The firm hopes a more integrated approach will help drive online revenues in mobile too. It has already said that any staff affected by the job cuts are invited to apply for roles at ShopLive, an online service that provides advice to customers via video link.
“We remain committed to our stores as part of an omnichannel future, where we offer the best of online and stores to our customers,” said Mark Allsop, Dixons Carphone COO. “As part of this we want to empower our store leadership teams, create a flatter management structure and make it easy for our customers to shop with us, however they choose. This proposal will ensure in-store roles are focused on giving a seamless customer experience and exceptional service across all our customer channels, whether online or in-store.
“Sadly, this proposal means we have now entered into consultation with some of our store colleagues. This was not an easy decision and we’ll do everything possible to look after those colleagues we can’t find new roles for, financially and otherwise.”