The Currys boss urged the government not to impose further restrictions on street retailers as he revealed a slowdown in sales amid growing fears over the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant and product shortages.
Alex Baldock, managing director of the UK’s largest electrical appliance retailer, which was previously marketed as PC World, Carphone Warehouse and Dixons, said there was “no evidence of risk to the public health “in stores and that the government would need an” unanswered public health case. ” “to shut them down in yet another lockdown, given the implications for jobs and the economy at large.
“We are in a good position to fuel the recovery and are not asking for donations. We just want to trade, ”Baldock said.
The retail boss made the comments when revealing a 3% drop in sales at Currys UK and Irish Business, excluding new store openings and permanent closures, in the six months leading up to October 30 .
Overall sales for the group, which also operates in the Nordic region and Greece, remained stable at £ 4.8 billion for the half-year, excluding the effect of exchange rate changes. Pre-tax profits rose almost 7% to £ 48million.
The company said sales had been impacted by supply chain issues and concerns about the virus, which had affected consumer confidence, as well as being compared to a very strong trade the company said. last year as families bought technology for home offices and to entertain children during the pandemic.
Baldock said Currys had 15% more inventory in the company than a year ago, but that there were “limited availability plates” with the company offering 100 models of large-screen TVs instead. than the 120 it usually stocked, for example.
Component shortages for some wanted items and shipping delays affected supplies across the industry, but Baldock said Currys was able to use his scale to secure better supplies than many rivals.
Baldock said Currys was still on track to meet its profit targets for the year, as the tech market was 20% larger than before the pandemic, given the increase in working from home and increased gambling as families spent more time in the business. “Most of that will stay,” he said.