Dixons plans to shut 40 shops as profits sink

 
Kasmira Jefford
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THE CHIEF executive of Dixons Retail said the group is planning to axe a further 40 stores on UK high streets as it reported a 17 per cent fall in pre-tax profits to £70.8m.

Sebastian James, who replaced John Browett in February, said he intends to trim down its estate of 557 shops to about 400 over the next three years, down from its previous target of 440.

The extra cut will come from its high street stores, leaving Dixons with just 30 to 40 shops in town centres. Dixons said staff would be transferred to out-of-town stores.

James said many of the stores were too small and instead Dixons would focus on slightly larger “urban toy shops” such as Westfield Stratford where customers have space to trial “fun exciting new technology”.

His comments came as the group reported that sales for the year to 28 April fell from £8.3bn to £8.2bn, better than analysts had expected.

A good performance in the UK and Nordics was offset by a weaker performance in southern Europe and its online Pixmania business.

The company wrote off £190m in total for its Greek, Italian and Pixmania units.

James outlined plans to make a further £90m in cost savings this year, in part by merging its Currys and PC World stores.

He said sales of TVs had done “surprisingly well” during the year but played down the influence of the Jubilee and sporting events on sales.