Long-standing mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse has announced that it will close all 531 of its standalone stores on Britain's high streets next month, with around 60 percent of staff (2,900) set to lose their jobs.
As part of the same company that owns Currys PC World, Carphone Warehouse has 350 mini-shops inside 305 of those stores, but these will not be affected by the changes.
The standalone stores will close on April 3. The move is not related to the coronavirus outbreak, but rather the result of the changing mobile market, according to the firm.
Group chief executive Alex Baldock told BBC News
that customers were increasingly buying online and from its big stores, which sell computers and TVs as well as mobiles.
"They can't find all this in the small mobile-only stores that are one-twentieth of the size; they're visiting these less and these stores are losing more money as a result," he added.
The company says the closures represent around 8 percent of its current selling area, and the move is "an essential next step" towards making its mobile business a sustainable and profitable category.
"We have to take the difficult decisions to throw our weight behind the parts of the business that the customers are showing us they want... that's with the big stores and that's online."
Carphone Warehouse and Dixons Retail merged in 2017 to become Dixons Carphone, in a bid to fend off tough competition from internet players like Amazon. However, the online strategy has failed to pay dividends and the merged entity has lost £90 million a year as a result.
Almost 40 percent of staff (1,800) affected by the closures are expected to take new roles in the business, the firm said.
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Apple has ceded its position to Walmart as the third largest online retailer in the U.S., according to a new report out this week (via TechCrunch
Research provider eMarketer Retail calculates
that Walmart is set to capture 4 percent of all online retail spending in 2018, up from 3.3 percent the previous year, while Apple will claim a 3.9 percent share, up from 3.8 percent in 2017.
Walmart, which includes Sam's Club and Jet.com, will see its sales total $20.91 billion by the end of the year, thanks to a 39.4 percent increase in e-commerce. In contrast, Apple's online sales will grow by 18 percent this year, a slowdown attributed to declining domestic smartphone sales.
Importantly, Walmart has one of the fastest growing ecommerce businesses. This year, its online sales will grow 39.4%. Wayfair, an online-only retailer, beats it slightly with a 40.1% growth rate. Meanwhile, Apple will grow just over 18% this year—less than last year— as domestic sales for smartphones and other consumer electronic devices begin to slow down. Its ecommerce share will remain virtually unchanged at 3.9% this year.
Both companies still trail first-placed Amazon, which is set to command a whopping 48 percent share of all e-commerce sales, up from 43.1 percent the previous year. Amazon will take in more than $252.10 billion domestically this year, according to eMarketer. eBay meanwhile remains in second place, with a 7.2 percent share of all online retail sales, down from 7.6 percent.Discuss this article
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Apple today officially announced
its latest retail store, Apple Champs-Élysées in Paris, located on one of the French city's most iconic streets. The store opens on Sunday and will replace the nearby Apple Carrousel du Louvre, which permanently closed in October.
The store occupies a Haussmann-era apartment building, featuring what Apple is calling its "grandest" Forum dedicated to free Today at Apple sessions, which focus on photography, music, coding, and design. In the first week, Apple Champs-Élysées will host sessions with popular musicians, filmmakers, animators and more.
"The energy in Paris is electric and it will be one of our premier cities for Today at Apple," said Angela Ahrendts, Apple's senior vice president of Retail. "I hope that everyone who visits Apple Champs-Élysées will be inspired to unlock their creative curiosity and learn something new."
Apple has restored the facade and entryway, and extended the Burgundy stone from the exterior throughout the building. Meanwhile on the upper levels, French oak parquet floors detail the interconnected spaces of the Parisian apartment.
"Working within a historic Parisian building is a great responsibility and a phenomenal opportunity," said Jony Ive, Apple's chief design officer. "Our first priority was to honor the history of the building, while thoughtfully updating it to create spaces both grand and intimate. The carefully interweaving layers are warm and light filled, celebrating the timeless spirit of the city."
Environmental concerns have also played a part in the architectural design at Apple Champs-Élysées. For example, the courtyard is covered by a roof light that provides natural illumination and helps generate renewable energy, thanks to integrated photovoltaic panels. In addition, an integrated rainwater collection system provides water for the bathrooms, trees and green walls, ensuring the store maintains Apple's commitment to 100 percent renewable energy.
More than 330 employees, including over 100 new hires, will welcome customers when Apple Champs-Élysées opens its doors on Sunday at 12.00 p.m. local time.Discuss this article
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