Dixons Carphone sees online trade recover two-thirds of lost store sales
Retailer Dixons Carphone has seen shares surge ahead after revealing booming online trading has recovered around two-thirds of stores sales lost amid the coronavirus lockdown.
The group said UK and Ireland online sales soared 166% in the five weeks to April 25 as customers rushed to buy laptops and home-working equipment, as well as gaming and televisions for the lockdown.
Overall UK and Ireland electricals sales tumbled 16% as it was forced to shut stores.
But shares jumped as much as 16% as it revealed that the online operation is helping recoup lost store sales, despite scrapping its full-year shareholder dividend payout due to the crisis.
Dixons revealed its stores that have been closed across the UK, Ireland and Greece would normally have delivered around £400 million of sales in the year, but this has been partially offset as its online operation has “maintained our unambiguous price promise, continued investment in delivery and carried on growing our range for customers”.
The group – which has 950 stores across eight countries including Scandinavia and Greece – said its stores have remained open in the Nordics with social distancing measures, which will provide a “blueprint” for how it could work elsewhere when lockdowns are lifted.
Alex Baldock, group chief executive at Dixons Carphone, said: “We’re setting new social distancing and hygiene standards that allow us to provide vital help to customers through the lockdown, to keep them connected with loved ones, their families fed, clean and entertained, work from home and home-school the kids.”
“This vital role is reflected in customer demand: wherever we’ve been open, our sales performance has been strong,” he added.
Its update showed international sales lifted 16% in the five weeks to April 25 thanks to strong sales across the Nordics.
Best-sellers include home office equipment and entertainment products, as well as kitchen items – including bread makers, which have sold particularly well – while more recently personal care products and fitness trackers.
In the 52-weeks of the financial year so far, UK and Ireland electricals sales lifted 1% and were 2% higher across the entire group.
Dixons said it had furloughed more than 16,500 store, supply chain and support staff under Government-backed schemes.
The group – which employs 24,000 people in the UK and Ireland – recently shut all 531 of its Carphone Warehouse standalone stores with the loss of 2,900 jobs.
It said at the time that the move was not due to the coronavirus crisis and was aimed at helping to turn around its loss-making UK mobile business.