Dixons Carphone today said its online electricals sales more than tripled over eight weeks when its Currys PC World and Carphone Warehouse shops were closed at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Ecommerce continued to grow even when shops reopened – though growth then moderated to doubling, compared to the same time last year.
The figures, reported in an AGM trading statement today, show that while Dixons Carphone UK and Ireland shops were closed in the eight weeks from May 2 to June 27, its UK and Ireland online electrical sales rose by 218%, while sales across channels rose by 4%. The figures are reported on a like-for-like basis that strips out the effect of store openings and closures. In the following nine weeks, to August 29, when stores were open, online sales grew by 122%, and overall sales by 20%.
Across the full 17 week period reported on today, from May 2 to August 29, UK and Ireland electrical sales grew by 12%. Over that period, 64% of UK and Ireland electricals sales took place online, up from 27% a year earlier. When international sales were included, 42% of electrical sales were online, up from 21% a year earlier. Online sales grew by 124% over the period.
But the rise in online sales has been accompanied by a fall in in-store sales that meant that sales were less profitable and gross margins were hit as a result. And at the group’s Dixon Travel airport shops, which are still mostly closed, sales fell by about 90%.
Dixons Carphone group chief executive Alex Baldock said: “Online has continued to power ahead: in the UK & Ireland alone we grew online sales by more than £500m in four months, growth that stayed strong even as stores reopened. We will continue to help everyone enjoy amazing technology, however they choose to shop with us, at scale and in ways that other retailers cannot match.
“We’ve started the year well, but nobody knows what the future holds and, like many, we remain cautious in our outlook.”
Dixons Carphone sells technology products and services through 932 shops and 16 websites in eight countries. Currys PC World is ranked Top50 in RXUK Top500 research, while Carphone Warehouse is Top100.