Covid-19: Dixons Carphone reports 166% increase in April online sales

Electricals retailer Dixons Carphone said today (29 April) that electricals sales in the UK and Ireland for the 52 weeks to 25 April edged up by 1% year-on-year – they were supported by a 166% increase in online sales in the final five weeks of that period.

In a pre-close trading update ahead of full-year results for the 53 weeks to 2 May, which are scheduled to be announced on 25 June, the retailer said that online sales coinciding with the coronavirus taking hold in the UK recovered around two-thirds of lost store sales. All shops are temporary closed, as a virus safety measure.

Highlighting the gravity of the current health emergency for retail businesses, Dixons Carphone began today’s statement by saying it is focussed on three priorities: keeping its colleagues and customers safe, helping consumers, and securing its future.

The significant spike in electricals sales online at its Currys PC World business in the five weeks to 25 April helped contribute to a 22% increase in digital sales for the full 52-week period. Similarly large online sales spikes were recorded in the group’s Greek and Nordics operations, with sales for the year up 56% and 20% respectively.

Despite all these unseasonal digital peaks, overall electricals sales across the group were up just 2% year-on-year, highlighting the impact the coronavirus is having on one of Europe’s largest consumer electronics players.

And this figure does not include trading in mobile phones and mobile accessories. Since the virus reached pandemic status in the UK, Dixons Carphone chose to permanently close its standalone Carphone Warehouse stores, and trading performance from this part of the business will be included in next month’s full-year results.

Group CEO Alex Baldock commended his workforce for the way it has adapted to retailing in a crisis, adding that live video shopping, and contactless shopping in its Nordic stores that are still operating show how the business is innovating.

“In the Nordics, our stores continue to operate to high social distancing and hygiene standards, providing a successful blueprint for how our UK stores can safely reopen as soon as government so decides,” he added.