Carphone Dixons has said, in a pre-trading update, that its online sales have increased by 72%. The retailer has seen a surge in demand for equipment for home working like laptops and printers as people prepare for coronavirus lockdown. Sales of TVs and gaming consoles, fridges, freezers and kitchen appliances were also in high demand.
However despite the surge in online sales the retailer still warns of missing its annual profit forecasts. Dixons Carphone said the closed stores had been expected to contribute around £400 million of sales for the rest of the year.
“These bumper sales offer Dixons Carphone some respite following last week’s announcement that it was to close all standalone Carphone Warehouse stores, the temporary shuttering of total store sales and the wider uncertainty amid the COVID-19 outbreak. This follows similar developments elsewhere, such as the surge in freezer sales at AO.com, as consumers prepare to bunker down for the long haul. The question is how long this sales growth will continue for, given the surge in uptake. These are thus, likely to die down in the coming weeks; however, this demand will shift to other categories, such as small cooking appliances and gaming consoles, as extended periods in the home reinvigorate the joy of old pastimes.
With its broad product offering and strong online proposition, Dixons Carphone is well-positioned to capture that demand which does arise over this period. However, as is the case across much of retail, this shift online will not be able to offset the damage caused to the physical sector over coming weeks and months. As such, the greatest opportunities in electrical retailing will fall for online-only retailers, which do not have to contend with this shuttering of the physical sector; although, even at these online pure players, they will nonetheless face logistical issues and strains in their employment base over this period.”