The Carphone Warehouse name is set to disappear from the high street forever after Dixons Carphone confirmed it will operate under a single brand, Currys, from October 2021.
Dixons Carphone says the consolidation will enhance its omnichannel strategy, which includes physical retail, online, and click and collect elements, making it easier for customers to purchase technology.
All the retailer’s 300 sites will be rebranded from ‘Currys PC World’, with Carphone Warehouse concessions merged into the larger brand. All 531 standalone Carphone Warehouse stores were shut last year.
Currys will also be the name used at a corporate level, replacing the more awkward ‘Dixons Carphone’ moniker that has been in use since the merged entity came into existence back in 2014. The Dixons brand was retired from stores back in 2006.
Since the demise of Phones4U, Carphone Warehouse has been the only major independent mobile phone retailer on the high street. However it has struggled to cope with changing consumer habits. A saturated market and longer refresh cycles are lowering contract renewal rates, making SIM-Only tariffs and SIM-free handsets more popular, squeezing margins.
The company no longer has agreements with three of the four major operators, believing these contracts to be “unsustainable.” It believes the market is shifting away from lengthy contracts that tie airtime to specific devices and plans to launch a new, flexible mobile proposition later this year.
The rebrand is the latest phase of CEO Alex Baldock’s turnaround programme, which has seen £190 million invested in staff training and employee programmes, new services, and technology that it hopes will allow it to adapt to changing consumer habits.
A new cloud platform ensures a consistent IT environment for staff and customers across multiple channels, while there has also been investment in virtual shopping and repair services. In-store technology has also been revamped as part of a major store upgrade programme.
“Today is a big day for us, as we become one brand – Currys,” declared Baldock. “Above all, we’re doing this for our customers. They’ll see that it’s Currys, the number one, helping them from toasters to tellies, laptops to laundry, fridges to floorcare, mobiles to music. They’ll see it’s Currys’ experts who help them choose, afford and enjoy their tech to the full. It’s Currys which helps them get the most out of the tech they already have, giving it longer life as well as bringing them all the exciting new stuff.
“Currys will have a bold and up-to-date look and feel, but this is a gearshift not a facelift. Our recently announced surge in innovation investment in colleagues, digital and stores is a winning formula that our competitors can’t match and will strengthen our position as market leader.
“We’re on a roll, and we’re going for it. We’re joining up our stores ever better with our strong online business, we’re investing hard, including in our brand. We’re winning with customers, and we reckon the year ahead will be our most exciting yet and today’s big announcement is just the beginning.”