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Dixons Carphone rapidly switches on omni-channel as online sales surge 114%

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Dixons Carphone has seen online sales surge by 114% to a mammoth £1.8bn in the half year to October, with market share gains in every sector. The retailer is also forging ahead with a shift to a more omni-channel model.

According to the company’s results, online now accounts for 58% of UK sales, driven by the closure of its stores for a total of four months across both lockdowns. In between these closures, the company has accelerated its omni-channel strategy and has seen a 145% growth in across all channels, resulting in £800m in additional sales.

This has seen Dixons Carphone record a pre-tax group profit of £89m, although the company believes this is around £155m down on what its sales would have been had the pandemic not caused closures of stores across its international portfolio.

Current trading remains strong, says the company, with electricals like for like 16% up over the six weeks to 12 December, despite extensive store closures in UK and Greece in lockdown 2.

Alex Baldock, Group Chief Executive, said in a statement: “Our UK stores were closed for months, but our colleagues adapted fast, continuing to help millions of people enjoy the technology that’s playing an ever-more vital role in their lives, and doing so safely. We’ve grown sales and profits, preserving our market leadership while accelerating our transformation in the UK, and continuing to power ahead internationally.”

Baldock continues: “We’ve achieved this performance by doing what we said we’d do. We’re winning online and have triple-digit growth and rapid market share gains to show for it. Still, most customers prefer to buy technology through a mix of online and in store, and we’ve innovated fast to bring the best of both digital and physical shopping to every customer. In particular, ShopLive 24/7 live video shopping points to a retail future where every customer online can get face-to-face advice from an expert store colleague. Meanwhile, we’ve continued to build lasting and valuable customer relationships. Our Customer Club grew spectacularly, and now has a third of Nordics households signed up. In the UK, we helped ten million credit and services customers, and we now account for more than half of all UK retail electricals recycling.”

However, Baldock warns: “The outlook remains uncertain, and we’re still nowhere near our full potential. Much hard work lies ahead. But this year has shown this business’s qualities, especially the grit and skill of our colleagues. Our strategy has been stress-tested as never before, we’ve had one arm tied behind our back versus our competitors, and we’ve responded with stronger performance and an accelerating transformation. I’m more confident than ever that we’re on the right path to create a world class business for colleagues, customers, shareholders and society.”

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