E-bike retailer halts store opening programme and is poised to cut its 11 existing stores

Carphone Warehouse to close Best Buy UK stores

Consumer electronics and electric bicycle retailer Best Buy has an uncertain future in the UK.

Owner Carphone Warehouse revealed it would cease its roll out of ‘Big Box’ stores and close its existing outlets in Britain.

Reports are now suggesting that Best Buy Co Inc is to buy its UK partner – Carphone Warehouse. Where that will leave the stores is unclear.

UPDATE: It has since been confirmed that all Best Buy stores in the UK will shut by the end of this year.

Best Buy has 11 stores in the UK. The first opened in Thurrock, Essex in May 2010, shortly after the brand said it was planning to create 8,000 jobs in the UK over its first five years.

BikeBiz sister site PCR has received this comment from an unnamed employee: "The shift manager was instructed to not let any trucks through the gates this morning… us poor drivers sat there with no idea what was going on for hours!! A sad day if we lose our jobs as xmas approaches."

Carphone Warehouse CEO Roger Taylor said: "The eleven Best Buy UK ‘Big Box’ stores have performed exceptionally at the level of customer satisfaction, but they do not have the national reach to achieve scale and brand economies.

"Due to the lack of visibility of an acceptable rate of return on historical and future potential investment we have decided against rolling out more ‘Big Box’ stores and we will be closing our existing stores, subject to consultation with our employees. Our immediate focus is our people and we are confident that the large majority will be offered alternative positions elsewhere in our UK business."

BikeBiz sister title PCR reported last November that Best Buy Europe had suffered a £29 million loss.

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