// Dixons Carphone online sales make up for loss suffered by stores closed due to Covid-19 lockdown
// Electricity retailer canceled its annual dividend to shareholders
// Online channels saw colossal 166% sales growth
Dixons Carphone said its online sales in the UK and Ireland have recovered about two-thirds of sales lost to store closings due to the coronavirus lockdown.
The electricity retailer canceled its annual dividend to shareholders and issued a business update ahead of the release of its annual results.
In the five weeks leading up to April 25, online channels saw a colossal 166% sales growth, compared to 23% growth in the 11 weeks leading up to March 21.
Dixons Carphone has closed 531 stores due to the lockdown.
He said he would have expected his stores in the UK, Ireland and Greece to contribute some £ 400million in sales for the year.
However, its online business has “kept our unambiguous price promise, continued investments in delivery, and continued to expand our range for customers.”
The retailer said it had adjusted work schedules for staff online to “keep colleagues in the same pairs and vehicles where possible.”
Staff were also given masks and safety gear, and deliveries were made contactless.
Dixons Carphone has also extended its credit facilities with its £ 266million lenders and now has access to more than £ 1.3 billion in borrowings.
These additional borrowing facilities mean Dixons Carphone is in “a strong position”.
“We expect to fully honor bank covenants unless almost all of our operations are forced to shut down for an extended period,” the retailer said.
Managing Director Alex Baldock said: “I am touched by the speed and skill with which thousands of our colleagues have responded to this crisis, safely assisting millions of customers and securing the future of the company. I cannot thank them enough.
“We are setting new standards of social distancing and hygiene that allow us to provide life-saving assistance to clients during the lockdown, to keep them in touch with loved ones, their families fed, clean and entertained, work from home and school in home the children.
“We have given extra help to vulnerable older people, in partnership with Age UK, and made the NHS a priority.
“We are prudent in conserving cash, have secured additional funding and can plan for the future with confidence. “
Baldock warned on Sunday that some sales that changed online during the lockdown will never return to physical stores.
He said he was preparing to open stores with “extreme care”.
The retailer saw many in-store sales that went online and said it was “unrealistic” to suggest that these would all return to stores.