Dixons Carphone says online demand partially offsets store closures


Electricals retailer Dixons Carphone said strong online demand was partially offsetting declines from stores being shut in the coronavirus lockdown, but it scrapped its dividend due to the uncertainty ahead.

The UK-based group, which also has stores in Ireland, Scandinavia and Greece, said on Wednesday that it was focused on strengthening its liquidity, and had extended its debt facilities, putting the company in a robust position financially.

Dixons said that online sales, for products connected to the lockdown such as computers for home working and fridges and breadmakers for increased food preparation, were making up for around two-thirds of store sales lost due to closure.

It said that UK, Ireland and Greek stores that are closed would normally have been expected to contribute a further 400 million pounds of sales in this financial year.

In the five weeks to 25 April, broadly the period of Britain’s lockdown, underlying sales in its UK and Ireland electricals business fell by 16%, while online sales showed growth of 166%.

The company said its Nordic stores had remained open during this period with social distancing measures, giving it a blueprint for how to operate its UK stores once lockdown measures are eased.