Long-standing mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse has announced that it will close all 531 of its standalone stores on Britain's high streets next month, with around 60 percent of staff (2,900) set to lose their jobs.
As part of the same company that owns Currys PC World, Carphone Warehouse has 350 mini-shops inside 305 of those stores, but these will not be affected by the changes.
The standalone stores will close on April 3. The move is not related to the coronavirus outbreak, but rather the result of the changing mobile market, according to the firm.
Group chief executive Alex Baldock told BBC News that customers were increasingly buying online and from its big stores, which sell computers and TVs as well as mobiles.
"They can't find all this in the small mobile-only stores that are one-twentieth of the size; they're visiting these less and these stores are losing more money as a result," he added.
The company says the closures represent around 8 percent of its current selling area, and the move is "an essential next step" towards making its mobile business a sustainable and profitable category.
"We have to take the difficult decisions to throw our weight behind the parts of the business that the customers are showing us they want... that's with the big stores and that's online."
Carphone Warehouse and Dixons Retail merged in 2017 to become Dixons Carphone, in a bid to fend off tough competition from internet players like Amazon. However, the online strategy has failed to pay dividends and the merged entity has lost £90 million a year as a result.
Almost 40 percent of staff (1,800) affected by the closures are expected to take new roles in the business, the firm said.