Dixons Carphone to consider future of brands after merger

Dixons Carphone is to consider the future of the brands it offers in the UK to make sure it only goes to market with “the best” following the announcement today (15 May) of the £3.8bn merger between Dixons Retail and Carphone Warehouse.

Carphone Warehouse
Could Carphone Warehouse disappear from the high streets following the merger?

Currently, Dixons Retail runs the Currys and PC World retail brands, as well as the KnowHow customer support service that it operates across both sets of stores. Carphone Warehouse meanwhile runs its own stores and GeekSquad, an insurance, repairs and support service.

Speaking in response to a question from Marketing Week at a press conference in London this morning, Carphone Warehouse’s current chief executive Andrew Harrison – who will become deputy chief executive of the new group – said there are no plans at the moment to reduce the number of brands. However, he added that the firm would review the brands it offers in order to ensure it goes to market with a “seamless offering” that doesn’t confuse customers.

He said: “We are blessed with a plethora of brands that have pretty much ubiquitous awareness even though they don’t necessarily describe what we do. Carphone Warehouse doesn’t sell carphones and Currys doesn’t sell curries. We’ll think over time about what the best brands are to go to market with to create a seamless offering for customers.”

As part of the merger, Dixons Carphone says it plans to open a Carphone Warehouse outlet in every Dixons store to bring together the “device experience” of Currys and PC World with the “connectivity experience” of Carphone Warehouse. That will result in the company creating jobs on a net basis, with the firm expecting to hire around 1,600 new staff to work in these new outlets.

However, it will also be cutting jobs at head office, with Dixons Carphone chief executive Sebastian James saying the firm is keen to avoid having two people working in the same role. That raises a question over whether it will need two chief marketing officers after the merger goes through, although the company would not be drawn on specifics.

Currently Julien Diment is CMO at Carphone Warehouse, while Gary Booker recently joined Dixons Retail from Telefonica.

James added: “There are some roles that will need to change and some roles that will need to go.”

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