Dixons Carphone has reported a huge increase in online sales as Brits splash out on laptops, TVs and kitchen appliances to cope with coronavirus quarantine.
The retailer today posted a 72 per cent increase in online sales of electrical goods in the three weeks to 21 March.
The boost was driven by booming demand for home working equipment such as laptops and printers, as well as entertainment products such as TVs and gaming consoles. There was also a rise in sales of white goods as people prepare to spend more time indoors.
By contrast, demand for mobile products slumped 24 per cent. Overall group sales were up 13 per cent compared to the same three-week period last year.
Shares in Dixons Carphone were up more than three per cent in morning trading.
The retail chain said the online surge would help to compensate for lost store sales after it was forced to close all of its outlets in the UK and Ireland in line with government guidance.
Nevertheless, the firm said the closures would impact its full-year profit and cash position, and warned it would not meet its previous pre-tax profit guidance of £210m or its aim of reducing net debt.
Dixons Carphone said it would take further measures to help cut costs, including reducing capital expenditure and reducing stock ordering.
The firm has already paid an interim dividend totalling £26m, but said it would take a decision on whether to pay a final dividend when it had a clearer view on the full impact of coronavirus on its business.
Dixons said it would continue to pay its in-store staff during the closures.
It comes a week after the retailer announced plans to close all 531 of its standalone Carphone Warehouse stores and axe 2,000 jobs.
The retailer’s mobile products will now be sold through Carphone Warehouse concessions inside 305 large Currys PC World stores and online.
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Dixons said the move was the next step in the turnaround strategy for its mobile business, and said 40 per cent of affected employees would be given new roles in the business.
“We remain committed to our ongoing strategic transformation and we are determined to continue to create an even better business as we emerge from this period of uncertainty,” Dixons said in a statement today.